December, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, a time to reflect and look back on all of the things you did (and didn’t) achieve in 2018. And, for many, a time to make New Year’s Resolutions.
To solemnly promise to your friends and family (and social media followers) to do better, to be more. But not for me; this year the only resolution I’m going to be making is not to make any at all. And I’d recommend you do the same…
My main problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that they’re doomed to fail – quite literally. 80% of people have given theirs up by February – and January, with its rain and snow and totally lack of money is already depressing enough without that added pressure.
Plus, the truth is, if you were going to take up pottery classes, or finally learn Spanish, or stop buying disposable fashion, you would have done it already. You haven’t done these things for any other reason than deep down, you don’t desperately, really, truly, want to. And I’m the same.
This is why you need to pay attention to sustainable fashion
Furthermore, in a world where we’re consistently told that in order to be a successful human being we need to be constantly bettering ourselves, on a never-ending road to self-improvement, sometimes it’s actually ok to admit that you’re fine just as you are. It’s ok to look your friends in the eye and say, ‘I know I order too many Uber Eats McDonalds and yes, £3.50 is an extortionate amount to pay for an 89p McFlurry to be delivered to my house, but I can’t give that up right now. And I don’t want to go to life drawing classes either.’
Of course, I’m preaching from a place of experience. When I was in my early twenties year after year I’d resolutely resolute. Beginning at the end of the summer to think about what I might do, or not do, for the next year. The main focus of my desires? Well, like 33% of people out there, every time January 1st rolled around I would tell myself (and anyone who would listen) that this would be the year I would lose two stone. But, as you may have already guessed, I failed every time.
This was for two reasons; the first was that – truthfully – I didn’t want to put in the requisite effort it takes to lose two stone; I didn’t want to stop drinking wine or go to the gym more often than I already did. And the second, perhaps more important reason, was because even if I did manage to shave an inch I still wasn’t happen, it was never enough, so I was failing myself regardless.
Is posting about our mental health struggles on Instagram just making the problem worse for everyone?
The problem was that picking resolutions, as many people do, which are tied into larger issues surrounding our self-esteem don’t work because – without wanting to sound like every self-help book out there – if you’re not happy in yourself there’s no quick fix that can sort that. Losing a few pounds might have given me a boost in the short term, but in the long term it was never going to cure my insecurities about my body or my inbuilt belief that thinner was better.
It was also totally unrealistic. Ask any expert worth their salt and they’ll tell you that creating short term goals will leave you far more likely to succeed than trying to go hell for leather on achieving something huge without any preparation. Long term changes, things like exercising more or eating more healthily, which are so often the focus of people’s resolutions take (you’ve guessed it!) time and dedication, not to mention a genuine real desire to change the way you live your life.
So instead of starting 2019 with a host of unrealistic goals, goals which you know you’re not going to achieve. Why not make it the year you slowly move to towards the things you want to do regardless of the time of year. And if there are days where you can’t be bothered, where all you want to do is watch Netflix and stare at a wall. Well, make 2019 the year that that’s ok too…
Here’s everything you need to watch on Netflix this weekend