How to stick to your new year’s resolutions, why most new year’s resolutions fail, how to trick your brain into keeping a new year’s resolution, 10 reasons you won’t stick to your new year’s resolutions, why you should never make another new year’s resolution again, how to stay motivated with your new year’s resolutions, why today is the day you’re most likely to break your resolutions… WOW. Is it just me, or is the internet TOTALLY obsessed with the idea that absolutely everyone in the world turns into a giant quitter come the second week of January?
Even here in Ibiza, the steady stream of local company newsletters and targeted Facebook posts I see suggest we islanders have already given up on #livingourbestlives and that the #newyearnewyou crew actually believe #oldhabitsdiehard. Well here’s a thought (inspired by a conversation with my very good friend Miss M yesterday): what about supporting all those people out there who HAVE stuck to their new year’s resolutions? Or better still, those who – like Miss M herself – strive to live their best lives all the time and don’t beat themselves up if anything goes awry at any time. They just see it as a hiccup, forgive themselves and try again the next day rather than attaching any unnecessary drama (or dates for that matter) to it.
I haven’t made any specific new year’s resolutions for the past few years, mainly because (if the internet is anything to be believed) I felt like I’d be setting myself up for failure. And in all honesty? I don’t want to start a new year with restrictions to my diet; I don’t need any additions to my workout schedule that cause me pain or anything that makes me feel like I am being denied a simple pleasure in life. My idea of #livingmybest life is doing the things I love (which happen to include binge-watching Mexican telenovelas, Disney movies and teen TV on Netflix, spending glorious sunny days holed up in bed just because I can, loving Lady Gaga but hating A Star Is Born, eating Thai noodles for breakfast and chocolate for dinner plus not giving a single fuck what anyone else thinks about any of it (pardon my French – but I figure if there’s a book written about giving less of them, we can write the word here too). Oh and as for clearing out my house – why? Everything I have fits in it just perfectly and that fact alone brings me joy (no I have not watched Marie Kondo and nor will I ever).
That’s not to say I think I’m perfect by any means, or there’s nothing in my life that doesn’t have a little wiggle room for improvement (I mean come on – a girl who eats chocolate for dinner surely needs to balance that out with some yoga, right?). But all in moderation. I think it’s better to do things as and when you’re ready; with a balanced approach and with baby steps rather than a military-like gung-ho attitude or going cold turkey. I prefer to be grateful for what I have rather than what I don’t (whether that relates to kilograms, possessions or feelings) and to always, always, listen to my intuition. The life changing art of not making a new year’s resolution has made me even more conscious of the way I live my life but on a daily, weekly and monthly basis instead of just once a year. If I missed yoga this morning (yep, I did), I’m not disappointed with myself. I’m just going to try again tomorrow rather than giving up on it altogether.
Of course, there are some people out there who thrive on setting new year’s resolutions. Who look forward to the first day of the new year with gusto and see it as a chance to right wrongs and change lives. And – while I must admit it’s totally not for me – there’s definitely nothing wrong with that! As long as it makes you really, truly, happy. For example, if you are the type of person who is reading this blog on your phone as you’re simultaneously jogging, eating the assorted crudité you prepped before work this morning, slugging celery juice without gagging, taking a selfie and hashtagging the hell out of it and getting a massive kick out of it all, then I applaud you.
But if you’re beating yourself up because you ate one carrot stick too many, or you’re obsessing about filtering any imperfections on your face or body or the thought of another five-mile run makes you miserable and you’re worried that your post hasn’t got enough likes or comments – WHY are you doing it all in the first place? These are the people the internet has been targeting this week. The ones who are struggling because they don’t really want to be doing the things they’re doing anyway. The ones who feel like they aren’t achieving anything if they’re not suffering. And the internet can be mean (especially this week!), making you feel like you’re just another statistic and your may as well give it all up now. I have yet to see an article that champions those who fall off the horse but then get back up again; or those who are yet to fall off at all. Or those like me who never got on the horse in the first place! Why are we so busy focusing on the negatives when we should be focusing on the positives?
Of course, I also know there are plenty of other positive new year’s resolutions that fall under ‘bucket list’ categories, like learn a new language, write a novel, visit Peru, save money, read more, adopt a rescue puppy – now these are resolutions I can get on board with. But again, only if they make you happy and you don’t make yourself miserable trying to achieve them. If everyone simply resolved to be happy – every day, every week, every month, every year – and strived to do the things that made them happy all the time… oh, what a wonderful world this would be.
To all of you out there who didn’t make a new year’s resolution and are just getting on with the process of living your best lives, I salute you. To those who did make new year’s resolutions and have managed to stick to them, I hope achieving your goals brings you happiness. And to those who’ve felt like they’ve been kicked in the teeth by the internet this week because they’d given up on their resolutions already, well… tomorrow is another day (and so is the next day, and the day after that and so on and so forth). You just have to choose to either get back on that horse or just put it out to pasture and don’t feel bad about it (horses are happy in the pasture!). Whatever makes you happy. Who give a f*** about what anyone on the internet thinks anyway?