How to make a new year resolution properly
New years resolutions should be a great idea. On principle they really are.
At new years we are encouraged to reflect. We make resolutions and it gives people an opportunity to make a new start. The pressure to have a resolution can be a good kick up the bum for some people. I think that this holiday, which celebrates new beginnings and reflection in a secular, is a nice counterbalance to the endless religious holidays we celebrate.
But you do get some frankly rubbish resolutions. I will be listening to people’s resolutions and the second I hear any permutation of “loose weight” out of the mouth of any non-obese person. I will just think
“really… of all the things in your life… the thing you want to change… more than anything else… is your weight” I don’t know where this comes from. Maybe it’s the constant bombardment of unrealistic body images from the media. Maybe it’s the pressure to come up with something and this is a fairly anodyne resolution. Maybe people don’t want to announce the thing they want to change this year in front of a whole bunch of people, so they say this instead. Maybe they don’t have a new years resolution because they saw a problem in September and just made the change then. I know that for some people it’s a desire to get back down to their normal size after the festive season, but that is a new months, not a new years resolution.
To help remedy the problem I have made a list of tips for choosing a decent resolution. I know its late but maybe use this list to make a new better resolution. Disclaimer: I am not an expert in anything.
- Actually reflect. A new year isn’t just some random holiday. Winter holidays celebrate family, spring holidays celebrate new life, and Valentines Day celebrates romantic love. New Years celebrates reflection and setting goals. You are not going to come up with a good resolution 10 minutes before you know you will be asked to declare it. Start thinking about it on the day after your chosen winter festivity at the earliest. (Mental health warning: please remember this is healthy reflection not an opportunity for self-loathing.)
- Think of this as a kick up the ass. Whatever has been bothering you about yourself for a long time this would be a good chance to do that. Weather it is that you are monolingual or spend to much time working, or not enough time working, or low self confidence, or bad spending habits. (See all the things you could choose other than your figure).
- Smart –targets are good for new years resolutions that is –
Specific- E.g. “Not to leave my stuff lying around- particularly not to loose track of my stuffs location”- rather than “get organized”
Measurable (this is not always possible)- E.g. “I will finish at least 24 books this year” rather than “read more”
Attainable- E.g. “I will use more effective methods of activism (as oppose to “Facebook activism”)” rather than “ I will personally behead Carmon, Clegg, and Osborne”
Relevant E.g. “I will try to sleep better” rather than “My best friend will try to sleep better”
Timely- obviously the assumed time goal for news year’s resolutions is this year. But if you have loftier aims set it further- perhaps with a chunk you wish to have completed by this year.
Best of luck to you all
P.S- my new years resolutions- I didn’t feel I could finish off this post without them.
- Not to leave my stuff lying around – particularly not to loose track of my stuffs location- particularly the expensive stuff
- I will use more effective methods of activism, such as writing to my MP, this blog, and giving badges etc. to people I know are politically minded, and when I have recovered from my operation, protests, sit-ins etc. As oppose to “Facebook activism
- I will finish 24 books this year
- I will try to be asleep by one most nights
- I will write more fan fiction than I read
- I will spend more time writing and working than I do dicking around on the Internet.