Having little tolerance for heading out to mingle with people I don’t know, means that I have jumped on the bandwagon of viewing New Years as an obligatory speed-hump between Christmas and heading back to work. New Year’s Eve normally consists of an average forced-night out wearing some logistically impossible mask followed by the ritual conversation of ‘stuff I’m going to do/change this year.’
While moments of insight (drunk, or otherwise) when reflecting on the past year are pretty obligatory and commonplace, these moments of clarity under the guise of New Year’s resolutions are useless unless we utilise some realistic strategies to implement change. Because, not to sound like a cynical bitch, but altering your pattern of behaviour is incredibly difficult. So unless you dedicate effort and commitment to make changes throughout the entire year, you’re going to spend the next hung-over New Year's breakfast ticking off the following clichés, instead of making new ones:
1.) “I’m going to join a gym”: Rather than facing some adorable gym consultant telling you to stay focused on January the fifth, instead, start small. Don’t eat a donut for three days. Go for walks. These goals are more realistic than tricking yourself into thinking you’ll have the willpower to go to a spin class three times a week to work off your holiday food baby. Also, somehow the slogan ‘New year, new you!’ pisses me off immensely, so if I were to join a gym, it’d definitely be in the middle of March.
2.) “I’m going to make more time for my family": Firstly, you’re probably going to want to recover from extensive family time after the holidays, so there’d need to be a detox and gentle reintroduction to seeing the ol’ fam. Perhaps ease yourself into making time for your nearest (and sometimes) dearest by dedicating Sunday afternoons to drinking tea and deflecting questions regarding your life/work/relationships because now you pay your own rent and can make your own poor life decisions .
3.) “I don’t really like my boyfriend/girlfriend/partner any more. Maybe it’ll be different this year": This is the emotional equivalent of clinging onto split-ends because you want your hair to grow. The amount of twenty-somethings in unfulfilled relationships is ridiculous; if you’ve given it a shot and have more shit times than good ones, and you know they’re not the person you want to be with, then what are you waiting for? Stop altering your own standards or trying to change the other person and move on.
4.) “I will get a new job”: If you’re one of those people who complains about their unfulfilling/underpaid job incessantly, then let me remind you that you have the means to change it. Oh yes, walking out the door Bridget Jones style will be terrifying, and unless you’re super resourceful and creative, probably won’t be accompanied by Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’. You might find yourself living on tinned tuna and listening to The Smiths, or even regretting it in months to come, but it could also birth possibilities that you never imagined from your shitty cubicle. Take off your headset and strut towards the blank canvas of your future. Bon chance, mon ami!
5.) “I’m going to travel”: There is a trend in the amount of people who say this, don’t do it, and then complain. If you want to, and have the means, then get your shit sorted and head to the places you keep Googling. Nothing says ‘YOLO’ like weeping as your watch your money leave your account and devoting the next few months questioning whether you’ve made the right decision.
New Years resolutions can provide a temporary insight into the stuff we could be doing, but are usually pretty pointless. It is easy to regress into familiar patterns because our brain enjoys familiarity and routine, even if they aren’t beneficial or are holding us back.
Change can be scary, so I’m going to start 2015 by parting my hair on the other side. And it’s going to be fabulous