Making New Year’s resolutions; how to make them work for you

December 31, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 1 Comment
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I’ve been umming and aahing about writing this post over the festive season, but to be fair I’ve been too busy eating enough mince pies, Quality Street and random cheeses to fill a Fiat 500.

I’ve been contemplating making resolutions because usually I don’t – no disappointment then. I’ve been wondering, what is the worst that could possibly happen if I did?!

If I make them, my resolutions would be to lose a few pounds, start doing some exercise, to drink less, shop less and be more focused yet relaxed at the same time. And there you have it – it is plain to me that in doing these things, I would become somewhat duller. And certainly not relaxed.

I may be able to fit into my jeans again and wouldn’t have to buy new ones; I may be healthier and richer but where is the fun in that?! Surely hard earned cash is for spending on things that make you smile – like new shoes and walnut whips – not paying off the debt racking up from a year of under payments to EDF?

So do I just revert back to my decision not to make resolutions? Maybe I need monthly incentives to stick to my goals? But these would certainly come in the form of manicures, girls nights out and Snickers bars. Thus surcoming to non-compliance with resolutions one, three and four.

Regular readers will know that I’ve suffered with OCD tendencies in the past and 2011 has been the year of overcoming them. Many tears were shed, lists discarded and airy fairy breathing techniques adopted. So maybe my hesitance to take up resolutions conjurs up feelings of panic simply because of the initial mechanism required to plan – a list.

I Googled the history of New Year’s resolutions and came across an article suggesting that you find new and unusual techniques to achieve your goals. So maybe I need to try this? For example, to exercise more maybe I need not to set a day of the week to go to boxerfitercise but rather find a friend who wants to take a long walk to a nice cafe on a Friday afternoon. Ok so I won’t be able to have a slice of lemon drizzle cake on arrival, but a hot chocolate would be ok, right?

I also found a website that suggests your goals don’t need to be measurable, just motivational. So rather than saying I’ll lose 6lbs by March, I could task myself to put together a healthy eating meal plan that I stick to five days a week. And no weighing scales allowed. Sounds promising, I think I’m making progress – and I should add here that this is all coming together as I write this – I’ve even change the title from ‘what’s the worst that can happen’ to ‘making new years resolutions work for you’.

I’ve also had to establish the difference between goals and simple ‘to do’s’. Repaint the lounge and find football sessions for three year old son are not resolutions, they are just things that need to be done at some point.

Comedian Greg Davies says that he makes 30 resolutions and if he keeps one for six months he’s happy. I quite like this approach; go for quantity and almost by default you’ll have success by numbers. A tech site suggests committing to a financial penalty for each failure. Can’t say I’m so keen on this strategy.

I also looked up the history of resolutions and this is what concludes my post. The tradition began over 4000 years ago and common resolutions included the promise to return borrowed items to friends and neighbours. The act of good led to self-improvement through kindness, thoughtfulness and good moral behaviour.

Roman history surrounding New Year focusses on considering actions of both past and present as well as the guarding of doors – ones that open and ones that close, leading you to consider new opportunities. The Romans also asked for forgiveness and offered gifts to the gods with their requests to be pardoned. Everything was about transitions – from one year to the next.

And for me that is the way I shall approach 2012 – not as a time for change but as a transition. Because surely it is far easier to build on what you’ve worked hard to achieve so far than to start from scratch – and because really, we’re not total failures are we – yes the jeans are snug, yes you’ve made a few too many impulse purchases of late – nobody’s perfect.

2012 – a year of transition. Pass me the Thorntons – well it’s not 2012 just yet…

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1 Comment »

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  1. Sounds like a good plan! Do it your own way, that’s my motto!


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