Every new years night until the age of about ten, I would tell myself this;
‘This is the year that I will become magic’.
Needless to say, I was setting myself up for disappointment because despite having the same birthday as Sabrina the teenage witch (this couldn’t be a coincidence, to my mind), and no matter how long I stared at a full glass of water (Mathilda, kudos), I just couldn’t seem to develop the magical powers that I so badly wanted.
Since then, I’ve lowered the bar a little bit, but the idea of coming up with New Years resolutions still filled me with a sense of dread.
There was the year I was supposed to get a stomach like Jessica Alba; the year I would learn fluent Farsi; the year I would become a ballet dancer; and the year I would be a juicing enthusiast and the list goes on and on.
The problem with new years resolutions is that we expect too much of ourselves. We set ourselves up with an unrealistic goal or an unrealistic amount to achieve and, not always but more than often, this leads to disappointment.
At the start of January, the gym is packed. Everyone is determined that this year will be different than the last. But every year by the third week, like clockwork, the numbers have started to dwindle. Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t make resolutions at all. It’s fantastic to have the big new years dosage of motivation to kick-start you into action. But this year, I don’t want to feel like I’ve let myself down for not sticking to my ridiculous resolutions. That being said, I don’t want to go without them either.
So, this year, I’m going to make sure my aims are realistic. I’m going to make sure that I can balance my resolutions and all the other things that I’ve already got on my plate in the coming year and I refuse to beat myself up for not doing something that I just didn’t have time for. I’m not going to start writing a book, run a marathon and start a business in the same year, so this year I won’t pretend to myself that it’s going to happen.
Instead of making vague resolutions that will be difficult to keep and impossible to measure by the end of the year, I’m going to set myself a specific targeted goal, and measure the progress as I go.
In 2016 I’ve decided that I’m not just going to try and vaguely ‘get fit’ but I’m aiming to run a half marathon by the end of the year (and not just because I’ve bought a snazzy new running top in the boxing day sales). It’s something solid and realistic for me to aim for, that I’m capable of doing if I put the effort in. I’m also going to try and limit myself to meat just once a week. I want to go totally vegetarian eventually, but for me, this is a much more realistic goal at this point and something that I’m confident I can stick to!
We place enough pressures and stress on ourselves in life, we could really do with having a few less, rather than piling on that few extra.
Most importantly, I’m not going to berate myself for failing. Of course I’m going to try my very best, but if I fail, or slip up from time to time, then that’s okay too.