I’ve never been very good at New Year’s Resolutions.
I’ve no trouble with making them. My problems lie in keeping them. 365 days is a long time without chocolate, cake or wine. I can’t even keep that promise for the 40 days of Lent, so a commitment to deprive myself of all those fantastic calories and toxins that make my toes curl and my head swim – for an entire year – is never going to happen.
A quick chat amongst friends, and a browse online confirms that the resolution landscape is pretty predictable. The most popular being those intended for the ‘betterment’ of health, wealth or general wellbeing. Turning over a new leaf – but with a punitive edge. As if we believe that we can only help or better ourselves through deprivation or rigorous discipline.
A quick look at the most popular resolutions I came across (in no particular order) looks something like this:
- To exercise more / to get fit
- To eat less chocolate
- To drink less alcohol
- To stop smoking
- To lose weight
- To spend less
- To save more
- Be more organised
- Be more decisive
- To get a new / better job.
Look familiar? I’ve tried (and failed) to commit to some of these before and I’m sure I could benefit from sticking to a few of them now, but there’s something missing.
Save for the possible exceptions of exercise or landing a better job, where’s the enjoyment in any of the above? And even then, fun is simply a by-product of a perceived more ‘worthy’ intention – a means of making oneself more healthy, or a step up the career ladder.
So, I have decided that for 2012 I’m going to buck the trend of unnecessarily punitive resolutions. This year my resolution is simply to have more fun – wherever that may take me. Whether it’s seeing more of friends and family around the globe – or down the road, landing a new exciting job, cheering on Team GB at the London Olympics, finding a sport I can do – and enjoy (without my dodgy knee packing up), writing and getting out with my camera more, or making the most of the coast, cities and countryside across the UK, there’s plenty of fun to be had – and as much as I probably should cut down on the chocolate – and I could certainly do with shifting a few pounds – I’d rather focus on doing more of the fun stuff, than feel guilty for small indulgencies.
Perhaps I’ll have more chance of succeeding with this resolution. And frankly, if I can’t find ways to have more fun in 2012 then there’s something very seriously wrong.
Resolution-makers; what’s your focus for the year?