Quit smoking. Go vegan. Cut out alcohol. Say goodbye to chocolate. Flip your mattress.
Start a journal. Start a band. Join a new religion. Leave your job. Break up with your partner. Have a baby. Stop acting like a baby.
We’ve all set out these kind of rules for ourselves at the beginning of each year. Goals that are absolutely obtainable; yet still seem so far out of reach.
You start the year off so optimistics, so convinced that you have finally managed to change your ways. All of a sudden its less than a week later and you’ve fallen off the wagon.
Then comes the guilt. The shame. The realisation that you will never get anything right.
Yes, the New Year New Me mentality has ruined more lives than Regina George. The pressure we set ourselves to reboot our entire personalities; recalibrate our entire existence on this planet; demolish all of our imperfections; all for the sake of what?
For the ability to look ourselves in the mirror? So we can love ourselves a little more?To break over a hundred Facebook likes? Are any of those things even possible?
So this year, I tried something a little different and I awoke on January 1st with no romanticised ideals on what 2018 was going to look like. That’s right, I had no resolutions (which is in itself a resolution; so I guess that means I already lost).
Instead, I carried on my business. In fact, as January closes, I feel better than I ever have during the rear end of the Christmas period. In fact, I found ways to sneak in a few positive changes to my lifestyle under the guise of spontaneity.
I booked a few trips. January is rather dull; thus I thought spending my time planning out one or two holidays for this year would perk me up. Plus flights are cheaper to book in January. I sneakily managed to tick off a would be resolution to travel more, but on a complete whim.
It also occured to me one morning to read a book on the bus on the way into work instead of staring at my phone. The next day, I found myself doing it again. I even finished reading a whole book, out of enjoyment, for the first time since God knows when.
Once again, I found myself confronted with what would have been a common resolution – to read more; and I was finding myself ticking it off.
Thus, at the close of January I found I had accomplished two resolutions of previous years; simply by telling myself that I was just being whimsical and spontaneous. I wasn’t doing it to tick off a list, I was doing it because I thought it would be a nice thing to do.
Who knows if my genius plan will continue to work. I may not be as unpremeditated when it comes to things like shopping for food; thus my past resolutions to change my poor diet choices may never be achieved.
However, I refuse to punish myself for failing at something that I wasn’t making an effort to change at any point of the year anyway. I’m finally resolution free, and yet I’m changing!