I didn’t achieve my new year’s resolutions in 2016. And either did you.
Last January I decided to be a little more realistic than writing my usual wish list (ie. learn to do the splits, give up chocolate, read a book every week), and settled with just one goal for the year – finish the novel I was working on. While I do have over 80 thousand words, and some characters that feel like real friends at this stage – it is only a first draft, far from finished.
I know that you didn’t achieve yours either, because I recently read that only 8% of people do. So, statistically I’m going to bet that you didn’t learn the splits or give up chocolate either.
And that’s okay. Sure, new year resolutions are a bit mad anyway, aren’t they?
I mean, I usually leave the festive season feeling tired and tubby, with a stubborn gathering of sugar/alcohol-induced spots on my chin and cheeks, and a strong desire to do some kind of yoga retreat on a far-away mountain for a couple of days. And in that state, it’s far from “getting in shape” and “saving a few bob” one should be thinking of. It’s only a recipe for guilt, and maybe even a mild heart attack.
Honestly, I’ve battled with new year resolutions for time immemorial. When I was seven, I decided I was going to complete the Harry Potter books my older brother had been reading. From January to July I struggled with the overwhelming amount of words, too stubborn to admit this to anyone in the world (I’m a cancer). That July I was given the next book in the series for my birthday, and the whole ordeal culminated in an early-life break down, and a weird resentment towards Harry and Hogwarts for the rest of my days (soz).
Then, a couple of years ago, I joined the bandwagon and decided that once January hit, I was going to “get in shape”. A completely mad idea, for more than one reason.
Firstly, past Tull-Meister couldn’t even define what this ambiguous goal meant. What is “in shape”? Is it the ability to sprint 4 miles, or do ten push ups? Is there body fat percentage involved? Or did I simply just yearn to look like the images of perfect misguided models and Instagram babes being shoved in my face every day? A little like finishing a novel, it was something too vague to be achieved.
Yet, off I went, (like the big cliché consumer I am) and bought new runners, some yoga pants, and about twenty lunch boxes to fill with only very green stuff. Then, feeling like a true adult with lunch boxes in every corner of the house, I got completely ahead of myself. I challenged my two athletic (male) house mates to see who could do a plank for the longest. If you don’t know what a plank is, just think of an intense form of torture and you won’t be far off. I had approximately 60 seconds of glory when I won, closely followed by three days of feeling like I was bet up. Then, when I turned to my lunch boxes for comfort, I was struck by the realisation that the pizza in the freezer was a lot tastier and more suitable for my line of work at the time – broke student.
Yes, perhaps if my goals were a little more specific or achievable, I would be part of that 8%. But for now, I am content to enter the new year in my traditional tubby state, guilt free. Join me.