New Year’s resolutions suck because they make you feel rubbish. It’s like analysing yourself and your habits and never coming up smelling of roses. ‘I’m failing here so I’m going to do this…’ and ‘I wish I was more…’ and I’m going to spend an awful lot of time punishing myself for it and engaging in negaitve self talk until the point I realise it’s all entirely unobtainable. More than that, I don’t actually want it. Then at this point I will begin to tell myself how rubbish I am for not keeping up with it.
The Christmas cosiness is over. We’re shoved into a New Year where all our news feeds are full of adverts for gyms and weight loss groups.
New Year’s Resolutions
We’ve all been there. We’ve all done it. New Year’s Eve is a con-man with a twinkle in his eye. It feels like we’re cresting a hill and the new year sits just beyond with long stretching meadows that will be our blank canvas. However, it’s a little more complex than that.
We are human, we are messy, we are a jumbled mix up of our individual experiences and views and ideas and thoughts and mental health and all sorts of stuff. If making change was as easy as we all feel like it is every New Year we wouldn’t need New Year’s resolutions at all.
A Dying Tradition
I’ve noticed this year the novelty of New Year’s resolutions has well and truly worn off. There are some good things happening on Instagram. Jameela Jamil is worth checking out with her ‘I weigh’ movement. She is challenging the idea that women are only worth anything when they are thin. I have friends on Instagram who are promoting body confidence and not being afraid to be yourself. I feel like a lot of people threw out the notion of unobtainable goals as New Year’s resolutions this year.
What I think is more beneificial is accepting where we are and not killing oursleves about it. Knowing that long term change occurs after many small consistent decisions. A big one for me is not limiting myself. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to evaulating my own abilities. It’s also useful to remember that you don’t have to be good at something to enjoy it.
Illness and Health
I had flu in the week before Christmas. No, not a cold, not even a bad cold but definitely flu. I was a broken person. Immobile, fever-crazed and partially deaf. Those were just the main symptoms. It was no fun. I didn’t get to take my kids to see santa, a visit we had booked in a month before and had to pretend I didn’t feel like shit when I saw the photos. I missed my daughter getting her first trophy at her martial arts class Christmas party. We missed the annual family Christmas Eve celebration at my sister in law’s. My daughter actually cried about that. (Thanks for making me feel better, kid.)
Being ill made me miss being healthy. It made me want to honor my body and protect my future health. Three weeks later and still not 100% recovered I’ve never been more grateful that I don’t have to face life contending with a chronic condition. I want that to continue, so I decided that as soon as I was better I’d make some changes to help my health. More importantly to protect my future health. Which coincided nicely with the New Year.
I’m doing exercise for once not just to lose weight. I feel grateful to be outside in the fresh air. I keep thinking about being older and hoping that every time I exercise I’m putting off a future ache or pain.
With the priority being on my overall health I’ve also been trying other things like switching deoderant to a more natural option. Something that I haven’t had the courage to do before and not really something you might set as a New Year’s resolution. Happy New Year! This year I’m going to smell of B.O while my body relearns it’s natural balance in my armpits, what are you up to?
Because my mindset has sort of shifted a bit the out-working of that looks different to my usual. My usual being killing myself in some new full on exercise regime only to chastise myself severely that I’m ‘not as fit as I should be’ and give up a few weeks in.
It took me ages to give up smoking because I never really wanted to if I’m honest. I thought I enjoyed smoking. Only when my mindset changed did I have the ability to quit. I realised the enjoyment of smoking was an illusion. I pictured myself in years to come, I would still either be trying to find 5 mins every hour to sneak for a cigarette, my irritably levels through the roof for the latter 50 mins of that hour or I could picture my little girl (who was 2 when I finally gave up once and for all) being older and really surprised that I ever smoked.
I was kinder to myself. I knew that it would take a few attempts and I gave myself the grace for that. Hands down it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I did think for a while that I would crave cigarettes every day for the rest of my life. But thankfully now I don’t. (People who give up smoking are more bad-ass than you know. If you are giving up smoking I salute you.)
My body will always be affected by all those years of smoking. My health will never be equal to that of someone who never smoked.
What Do You Really Want?
New Years resolutions suck but only because they’re often flimsy and they soon collapse and leave us feeling less-than. Take that optimistic feeling of new year and use it to fuel a positive change in your life, but be honest with yourself and think about what do YOU really want. Only then you will succeed.
The point is to be kind to yourself, and think about what you really want. Break it down into small steps if necessary. Once you have the right motivation you’ll be able to do it and not just because it’s a new year.
Life’s always changing, that’s part of the beauty and there’s always an opportunity to learn something new about ourselves. Such as the levels of badd-assery we can reach when we we really set our minds to something.