But why do we need to wait for New Year to make these resolutions? Why such hullabaloo? If you take away the psychology of it, the 'new year, new me' nonsense, it really is a bit daft pinning an elaborate change on a date in the calendar. For many, it's a benchmark used to over-consume on the run up to it. Why? I've always found it funny how smokers use January 1st to kick-start their 'giving up smoking' attempt. Why? Most people make the decision to give it up weeks, or even months beforehand, so why do they wait? Why not just start early? Subconsciously, it's because they don't want to give up in the first place, and they're putting it off for as long as they can. Also, have you noticed how after setting the NYR objective, how easy many people just 'give up' soon after if they don't meet or reach a reasonable level against the target? People, you're setting yourselves up to fail!
Therefore, I don't take part in the NYR ritual. If I did, I'd fix myself a target that would be so damn easy to achieve... like giving up things I wouldn't miss. Olives for instance. I can't stand them. Or setting myself a goal in something I like... like eating chocolate. That way I'm not setting myself up for failure.
I remember going in to a supermarket once straight after New Year whilst I was a manager in an insurance company and buying a load of confectionery items, biscuits, chocolate and the like, and the cashier giving me a funny look and saying "You having a party?". "No," I said in my straightest voice, "My New Year's resolution is to put on a bit of weight... more attainable!" I didn't elaborate that my purchases was actually for a Team incentive I was going to run at work to try and get calls answered quicker, but I thought it sounded funny, and she did laugh.
I'm not dismissing the idea that setting a lifestyle change isn't a good idea. It is. Hell, had I not made one back in 2011, I would never have taken the plunge and walked out of a good job in favour of a life as a house-husband and eventual novelist. But I made that shortly after my son Matthew was born in November, not on December 31st. I'm making life-changing decisions all the time. But making NYR for the sake of it, or setting them just because it's what everyone expects you to, is not going to have the desired result. I'm not saying it doesn't work for some, and that change isn't good for you... far from it, just make it for the right reason when the time is right for you. Don't give something up if it's going to make you utterly, utterly miserable, unless not giving it up will result in making you feel even worse than that.
Having said all that, if you have made a NYR, don't now abandon it just because I have diss'ed the idea. Prove me wrong in my ideology. Go and lose all that weight you want to, give up smoking, find a new love, go back to an old love, get a new job, buy a new car, house, etc., get whatever it is you desire. I'm disappointed you've waited so long to set that dream and start working for it, because life is too short, and excepting religious beliefs, we only get one shot at it. We've all got an expiration date, so don't take life for granted. Do what it is you really want to do. I wanted to write books, and they may, or may not sell the numbers I want (yet!), but I am DOING the thing I love.
Whatever you do or don't do, happy New Year to you. I genuinely hope you have a great 2016 and that you achieve all that you set your hearts on.
A final phrase for you to think on, feel free to quote me: Do today what it is you'd like to do tomorrow, because for some, there won't be a day to follow after that...