What Your New Year’s Resolution Says About You
Let's be real for a second here...
New Year’s Resolutions are trash. There, we said it.
And while in theory you probably agree, in reality it’s quite hard to stop yourself hopping all aboard that New Year, New Me train with a few secret resolutions about how 2019 is going to be soooo different from 2018.
But this January, let’s agree to a little reality check. Because as admirable as those cliché resolutions might be, there’s a lot to be said for putting a little less pressure on yourself to make massive life changes just because it happens to be the beginning of yet another 352 day cycle.
Here’s what a few of those grand resolutions actually say about you and a few thoughts on why it’s really not the end of the world if you break them by January 8th.
“I’m going to lose weight”
What it really means: That January weight loss pressure is as insidious as a fart in a lift: it comes at you from all angles and it’s basically impossible to escape it. Even if in reality you know that it’s a load of crap, it’s really hard to not feel like you need to change your body to fit in with society’s perceived notion of beauty.
But the truth is that losing 10 pounds isn’t going to change your life in any way, shape or form – and that’s what you’re really looking for, isn’t it?
Losing a few pounds won’t (and shouldn’t!) make you feel better about yourself as a person and even if you’re really sure this is what you want, the reality is that massively changing your diet and upping your fitness regime isn’t going to be a particularly effective way to motivate yourself to do it.
Let’s not forget that what you look like bears no relation to your value as a person, so why not be a bit kinder to yourself this year instead or holding yourself up to unrealistic standards? You could even think about shifting your focus to wellness and consider small, positive changes that do good things for the health of both your body and your mind instead.
“I’m going to start getting up early”
What it really means: You’re probably not A Morning Person nor will you ever be. You are, however, somewhat deluded and have fallen for everyone over the age of 45’s notion that getting up at the crack of dawn somehow makes you a better person. Spoiler: it does not and you are not a bird, so why would you even want to catch a worm?
Luckily, a single morning of forcing yourself up at 6am to do a Yoga With Adrienne session on your inexplicably hard bedroom floor will undoubtedly cure you of this laughable resolution and remind you who you really are by January 3rd.
“I’m going to get a girlfriend/boyfriend”
What it really means: Your friends are gradually pairing off and you’re starting to feel like the only one left living their life via Tinder flings. While your mates are talking about engagement rings, moving in together and babies, you’re still on the dating apps and are feeling a little bit left behind because of it. And – OH GOD - Valentine’s Day is around the corner ready to rub your single status in your face yet again. Great.
Unfortunately, the joy of living in a culture that puts to much emphasis on monogamous relationships is that you can start to feel like some sort of social leper for not being in one. Ready meals are made for two, you have little chance of landing a mortgage without a partner and the term ‘happily ever after’ doesn’t seem to feature in many stories that don’t end in two people riding off into the sunset together.
And yes, there’s absolutely no denying that love is pretty wonderful, but it comes in many forms. Being in a romantic relationship isn’t a Disney movie and if there’s something missing in your life, adding another person into it isn’t necessarily going to ‘fix’ things either. Relationships come and go, but there’s no point being in one for the sake of it, and if you’d rather keep it casual or go solo, that’s just as valid.
We’d also like to advise you that you absolutely don’t need to be the bigger person. Tbh reminding the smug couples around you that 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce never ever gets old.
“I’m going to get my finances in order”
What it really means: Nothing scares you more than confronting your current account balance and you even went to the extent of signing up for a Monzo card purely so you never have to actually log into your Internet banking ever again.
Historically you’ve been the person who buys yourself a present as a reward for paying off the monthly minimum on your overdraft, and who can blame you? The idea of a millennial being able to open a savings account in this day and age is a myth about as believable as the Tooth Fairy.
Still, you know this a fear you need to conquer and are really, truly going to make a concerted effort to at least have a little more idea how much money you’ve got in your account. And good for you, even if it is only to stop the daily terror of wondering whether today is the day that your card is finally declined when you pop into the supermarket for crisps and chocolate buttons.
“I’m going to take up XYZ hobby” / “I’m going to quit my job and travel the world”
What it really means: You probably seem like a fairly put together person. You probably do a job you don’t mind, do ok in school, have good friends and live somewhere you also don’t really mind. But it’s the so-so nature of things that is the issue here, isn’t it?
What you really want is fireworks and a day-to-day existence that’s a bit more like Justin Bieber’s Instagram feed.
Unfortunately the daily grind is, for most of us, a bit boring and if you need to learn French or take up life drawing to get your kicks, go for it. If you need to go bigger and quit the job and do some travelling then fair play to you. But if you’re going to do it then stop talking about it and make it happen. It’s your life so put your money where your mouth is and make the most of it.
“I’m going to be more positive”
What it really means: You love a horoscope and have a drawer full of crystals you bought on ASOS that you’re not really sure what to do with. A tiny little bit of you hopes saying ‘yes’ to everything and always looking on the bright side and always smiling at everyone is guaranteed to make everyone like you and bring good things your way!!!!!!!!!
Unfortunately your grumpy AF inner child disagrees and after two weeks of being held back, is quite likely to return and remind you that no one is cheery all the time and it’s actually just as real to be true to yourself and your opinions.
We’re not saying you should be neggy or nasty, but it’s also ok to be assertive and stand up for yourself too. None of us are happy all the time and while being positive is definitely a great way to try and deal with the crap life can throw your way, it’s also just as ok to have real conversations about how you’re feeling when things are just going a bit shit.