Christmas is over, you’ve eaten your own body weight in chocolate and had a few too many glasses of champagne. Now new year’s is upon you and it’s time to start thinking about resolutions…or is it?
Most New Year’s resolutions are made on a whim and motivated by guilt, and 88% end in failure. So to help you avoid that this year, we have a rundown of the 5 New Year’s resolutions not to make in 2016 and why.
1. Lose weight and get fit. According to Time magazine this is the most commonly broken New Year’s resolution, and it’s obvious why. It’s the classic cliché pushed by shallow ‘beauty’ magazines, designed to promote self-hatred as you try and fail to claw your way up to some shallow and unobtainable supermodel beauty standard.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to live a healthy lifestyle, but this message is the last thing you need to kick off a new year. My advice, why not skip this resolution and make 2016 about being happy with yourself? That might mean you eat a little healthier or take up field hockey. But on a cold January night when all you want to do is snuggle up under the duvet with Netflix and a bar of chocolate, that can be part of your resolution too.
2. Stop drinking or smoking. Really? Sure this seems like a good idea on January 1st when you wake up feeling like you’ve been hit over the head with a bat and your throat has been the scene of some sort of desert warfare. But if you were happy enough to get into that state on December 31st, do you really think that the New Year is going to change that?
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t quit ether of these things, we all know what alcohol and nicotine can do to us. What I am saying is that maybe quitting an addictive habit is something that merits a little more thought than just an impulsive resolution made with your head in a toilet on New Year’s Day. So if you make it past the hangover and you're still determined, good for you! Just take it one step at a time, ask for help if you need it and remember this is about you and not the new year.
3. Learn a new skill. So you want to learn the tuba? Great! Everybody loves a brass band, but should this really be a New Year’s resolution? If you want to learn something new why wait until January when everyone else in the world will also be signing up for tuba lessons? Beat the rush and get that tuba as a Christmas present, or then wait until February when Ebay will be awash with second hand instruments from all those people whose New Year’s tuba-based resolutions didn’t pan out. So I say go for it, become a tuba sensation, but don’t tar your enthusiasm with the brush of resolution failure before you’ve even begun.
4. Stop using Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Tumblr… We’ve all had that moment when there’s a deadline looming and we suddenly realise we’ve just spent the last 45 minutes scrolling through cat videos and someone else’s holiday pictures. But is deleting your social media presence really a good New Year’s move? Sure, you might temporarily get more work done, but I’m pretty sure that procrastination wasn’t invented with social media. So whatever your good intentions may be, the reality is that social media is an integral part of how we all communicate, and deleting your profile won’t change that. So maybe a scroll through Instagram and a chat with your best mate on the eve of a deadline might not be such a bad move. Better than cleaning your kitchen cupboards at midnight without so much as a cat freaking out at a cucumber to rally you along.
5. Spend more time with Family and Friends. We’re all busy people with busy lives, and sometimes it’s hard to find enough time for family and friends. If you really do feel like you’ve been neglecting the people you love, of course go and see them! But the second you turn that into a resolution it becomes a chore. If you had to work on your mum’s birthday don’t punish yourself, she’ll understand, that’s the wonderful thing about family and friends. And it’s not just you, it’s all of us! Everybody has school or work or responsibilities, and we’ll never manage to find time for absolutely everything. But if you realise it’s been too long since you saw your best friend, send them a Facebook message, give them a call and see them when you can both fit it in. Because seeing family and friends should be a pleasure, not a resolution.