I read an article recently in The Pool, by Viv Groskop, in which she said that she’s not into setting resolutions for January, and is instead convinced of the power of year-round small resolutions – to be adopted at any time, not on a special date. Groskop says, “The truth is this: most people (almost all people?) cannot keep New Year’s resolutions. This is a tried and tested fact. Just think of anyone you know anecdotally who made a huge change in their life as a result of a New Year’s resolution. (Think about it now.) There isn’t anyone, is there?”.
I nodded along so much with the article (which you can find here) that I’m actually now persuaded into adopting her way of thinking on this one. Because, I too, never really deliver on my January ‘new life goals’, and totally give up when the going gets a bit tough. And then I just feel like a failure — and a bit miserable for the rest of the year — which is never a good look.
They’re always set way too big, too. Like ‘start a business’, or ‘run a marathon’. Nope. And nope. Not going to happen…especially not in early January, let’s be honest.
However, that said, I do think there is mileage in making steps towards being a better person and making improvements to your health and wellbeing. Of course there is. But, maybe the time of the year (the post-Christmas haze), when we are the most lethargic, gloomy, vulnerable, financially broke and partied-out, isn’t it.
We do all need goals or aims in life though — that is a given. It’s a fact of human life. They motivate us to improve and help us to stay focused. But making them unrealistic, out of reach, AND in the first few weeks of January, (as Groskop says), maybe isn’t the best thing to do.
So, what is then?
Like her, I have been making small changes to my habits already and have not waited for the New Year to declare my new resolutions to the world. In 2018 I quietly put in place some changes to my lifestyle in order to improve my mindset and happiness.
For example, in December I started Yoga, which I now fit in a few times a week. It’s already making me feel positive and relaxed, as well as toned and flexible. I knew that I was a bit too manic (aka living life at a thousand miles an hour and NEVER relaxing) so Yoga has been a great way to reflect and slow myself down. Plus it’s improved my mood and given me a more positive outlook.
I’ve also changed this blog too (which you can read more about here) because in 2018 I identified that I needed to make some amendments to my creative work in order to feel more fulfilled. I now feel really energised with these small tweaks; I’m ready to get going once more. My writing ideas pad is once again full.
I have also been reading books once more. I started in late summer and now I aim to read a few pages/a chapter a night of a good book rather than scrolling on my phone. Not only has this given me a feeling of increased intelligence (finishing a book is SUCH a great feeling of satisfaction) but I sleep better too. Win, win my friends!
As these three ‘goals’ (and I use that term very loosely) are more than enough for me to be getting on with right now I may do some more around the spring-time, when the weather improves (and perhaps my needs change slightly), or I may not.
But, guess what? This all feels easy and manageable. Totally stress-free. And on my terms.
So no, there won’t be any New Year’s Resolutions blog posts coming from me, such as ’10 tips on how to make them’ or ‘5 ways to stick to them’. And I won’t be actively devouring them from other news channels either. Instead, for 2019, I’ll be over here making small changes to myself and my life throughout various points. Which will hopefully mean that they’re more achievable and way more realistic. And, totes more fun.
Written by Editor, Jess Soothill