It’s that crazy time of the year again when lots of people will be thinking about their New Year Resolutions. We rarely stop and ponder the fact that many, if not all of them, will be the same as last year. It’s as if we have forgotten why they failed last year and the year before and the year before that. We always tell ourselves that this year is going to be different, but deep down we know that it wont.
Why do we make them? – One of the problems is that we get caught up in that New Year euphoria. All our friends are talking about their New Year resolutions and we don’t want to be left out. You know very well, despite what you might say, that you are not going to keep any of them. In fact you will be surprised if you manage to keep going until the end of January. But it doesn’t matter because that is part of the game that we all play. In some ways you almost want to be the first to fail, it will give you some bragging rights. You can almost imagine the conversation, “What you kept going for a whole day. Wow! I gave in after just 5 minutes.” (Beat that!)
What do we resolve to change? – Have you ever noticed that most people’s New Year resolutions are often about giving up the very things that they most enjoy. It’s as if they have to make the resolution as difficult as possible – nobody takes any notice of you if your resolutions are easy. The more difficult the ‘thing’ that we promise to give up the more sympathy we will get from friends when we fail.
- Me – “I’m giving up chocolate for the New Year.”
- Friend – “Never! But you love chocolate. You’ll never do it. I’ll give you a week.” (Have you noticed how your friend is helping to reinforce what you already know, ie “You’ll never do it” and then gives you a get out clause, “I’ll give you a week”)
- Me – (A week later) – “You were right about the chocolate thing. I only managed 3 days before temptation got the better of me.”
- Friend – “I told you so. I know you so well, that’s why we are such good friends. Do you want another chocolate muffin?”
Making promises is easy. – Anybody can make promises, it’s keeping them that is the hard bit. Look at politicians just before an election, they will promise you the earth, then once they’ve got your vote and are in office, they find any number of excuses for not doing the very things they promised they would do. Unfortunately breaking promises is as easy as making them. Keeping them involves perseverance and commitment and that is hard work.
Resolutions I won’t be making. These are some that I’ve tried in the past and failed and if I made them again then I would only be setting myself up to fail again.
- Start jogging every day – have you ever seen a happy jogger?
- Go to the gym every day – tried that one. The problem is that in the first week of January you feel quite at home. Everyone else is as unfit as you and doesn’t have a clue how any of the machines work. By the end of January most have given up and wishing they hadn’t signed up for a whole year. Those that are left are extremely fit and make you feel even more inadequate and, to be honest, need to get a life.
- Stop eating chocolate – not a good idea, the latest research suggests that chocolate helps fight off coughs and colds (or am I just making that up?)
- Cut down on the wine – would seem such a shame as there are still so many that I’ve still not tried, and anyway, isn’t their some medical research that says drinking wine is good for you?
My New Year resolutions. – Well, to be honest, I’m not going to make any. Instead of making a list of promises that I’ve no intention of keeping I’m going to set myself some cosy, realistic targets instead. They are:
- Spend more time blogging – something I really enjoy (who says New Year resolutions have to be difficult?) and I am meeting some great people.
- Participate in NaNoWriMo again this year. Last year was my first time and it was such great fun.
- Write more chapters to my book – notice I’ve not gone mad and said “Finish my book.” nor said how many chapters.
- Enter some short story competitions – ‘some’ may be one or it may be more.
- Visit the local coffee shop more often – another excuse to write.
Well, that’s me sorted for the New Year. I hope that you have a great 2012 and don’t resolve to do too much.