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Your New Year’s Resolutions Are Utter Shit

Your New Year's Resolutions Are Utter Shit

Sorry, but someone had to say it: your New Year’s resolutions are utter shit.

Welcome to 2018!

Aren’t you happy to be here?

You did the thing. We survived 2017 then donned an absurdly sparkly dress and partied with the naïve hope that 2018 will be better. Because we’re going to make it be better. New year, new you. Am I right?

Except for the random guy in your bed this morning. I bet you’re not willing to change that part of your life. Don’t worry, you aren’t getting any judgement from me. In fact, you can think of me as that friend who encourages you to do it. All the time.

I really do believe that New Year’s resolutions are utter shit. This is coming from a woman who used to write a list of goals for the month and has a to-do list as long as my arm, so I think I know what I’m talking about. I would dutifully write out a list of things I wanted to do and I would post it on here for everyone to see. Sometimes I achieved a lot, sometimes I achieved nothing. And that was embarrassing. And disappointing.

I had a resolution to ‘eat clean’ for a month and then broke it by eating candy at 10pm. On the very same day. Needless to say, that was the end of my ‘New Year’s resolutions’. And all the candy in the house.

new year's resolutions are utter shit

I find it funny that a particular calendar date can cause such a frenzy among people wanting to ‘make a change’. What’s so great about January 1st? I look on Facebook and I see people crowing with delight over the fact that January 1st was a Monday, too. I guess all those people saying “I’ll start my diet on Monday” really don’t have an excuse now, do they?

Really, though, we have three-hundred and sixty-four other chances to ‘make a change’ in our lives. What makes the first day of a new year so great?

Now, I’m a huge believer in gradual change, which is much less overwhelming than the complete overhaul some people try to achieve. This, my friends, is why your New Year’s resolutions are utter shit. You’re basically setting yourself up for failure. Seriously Susan, do you think you can go from stuffing yourself with Christmas cakes to eating chia seed puddings?

I didn’t think so.

New Years Day invokes a weird frantic energy. If you stand still for a minute, you can feel it pulsing in the air. You must be better, you must do better, you must be seen to be making a change. New Year’s resolutions are utter shit because there’s a pressure to change your habits overnight. And that just isn’t realistic.

Instead, choose a select few behaviours that are easy to do. They could be new and different, but might not be completely out of your comfort zone. That’s the key to making a behaviour ‘stick’. Small things – done consistently over time – will create a difference in your life.

You have to change your mindset before you can make any behavioural changes. This means you have to figure out your ‘why’. This is why I think New Year’s resolutions are utter shit. Change for the sake of change is not going to stick. I mean, do I need to remind you of how I broke my resolution within one day? That was the perfect example of why it does. not. work.

I go for a walk every day. Why? Because I love it. Exercise makes me happy and as Elle Woods said, “Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” Not that I have a husband. Or a gun, for that matter. I also have a Fitbit and it helps me to hit the 10,000 steps. That, however, is a by-product of my happiness. Not the sole reason.

I’ve found that having goals can shift your focus from the present moment to what you ‘should be doing’. It can ruin your day and that’s no fun for anyone. Say you didn’t live up to your expectations. So what? The moment has been and gone. It shouldn’t have any bearing on your day, but it does. It makes it easy to go back to your old habits and that – my friends – is when it all turns to shit.

New Year's resolutions are utter shit

A few years ago, I heard a family friend talking about choosing a ‘word of the year‘. She didn’t set any resolutions but promised to live out the year by that word. I hate to admit it, but I laughed. It seemed ridiculous that a person could achieve any amount of success by not having any measurable goals. I talked to her throughout the year and she seemed happier than ever. And it continued for the rest of the year.

Quickly, my scepticism stopped and I considered this ‘word of the year’ for myself.

And I haven’t looked back since.

2015 was my ‘year of yes’. I can honestly say that I achieved more in that year than any other. After great debate, I changed my degrees, moved cities, got two jobs, and met some amazing people (and some assholes). All because I said “yes”. If I wanted to do something, I did. I let myself experience life without hesitation and the rewards were huge.

Only a crazy person would have a year like that and decide they didn’t want to do that again.

And I’m no crazy person.

I chose words for 2016 and 2017, too. And, all things considered, those years turned out pretty fucking great.

I met more great people, travelled, finished my degree, and had a baby. How am I supposed to top that?

I’m not sure I can, but I’m definitely going to try.

My word is ‘discover‘.

Let’s see how much havoc I can cause in 2018. Three hundred and sixty-three days to go 😉

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20 Comments

  • Reply Amy @ More Time Than Money

    Completely agree with you. Also a big fan of word of the year. Last year mine was “slow not lazy”. For 2018, community.
    Love discover.

    January 2, 2018 at 5:52 pm
    • Reply Victoria

      Oh, I might have to ‘borrow’ your 2017 word for next year. You know, depending on how this one pans out. That is amazing. I hope 2018 brings all the community you need!

      January 15, 2018 at 4:12 pm
  • Reply Rikka

    Hell to the yes!

    January 2, 2018 at 11:33 pm
  • Reply Rosie

    This post is hilarious! I don’t do resolutions cos I won’t keep them!

    January 3, 2018 at 2:51 am
  • Reply Caroline Henson (@sparklyvodka)

    I’ve not made any resolutions for 2018 but I do have a few goals in mind. I like the idea of having a word of the year, never heard of that approach before xx

    January 3, 2018 at 4:58 am
  • Reply Vegas

    Seriously! It’s the same shit, different year lol. Why wait for the new year to get in shape? Or to find a better job? You should do it when you think you need a change. I get the new year can be motivating, but find ways to get that same motivation through out the year

    January 3, 2018 at 7:15 am
  • Reply Dewy

    Mine has been a whole three words the last few years. Just Do It.

    January 3, 2018 at 9:10 am
  • Reply Robyn

    I love this!! Probably going to be the most honest post I read in January and I am currently sat here thinking about what my word should be.

    January 3, 2018 at 9:47 am
  • Reply Shelby @Fitasamamabear

    I don’t mind resolutions but they’re not the be all end all. I do like the idea of having a word though! I feel like it was open so many more doors!

    January 3, 2018 at 3:15 pm
  • Reply Kelly-Anne

    I don’t mind writing a few broad goals to keep me focused for the year. But like others have said creating them isn’t everything.

    January 4, 2018 at 2:14 am
  • Reply lovemaisie

    I can’t wait to read about all your adventures this year! I loveeeee this idea of a word for the year! I think mine is going to be “yes” this year!! x

    January 4, 2018 at 3:39 am
  • Reply Natalie K.

    Ok at first I was not liking this post and where it was going, but it turned out perfectly hilarious and just what I wanted to hear. I have never done any new year’s resolutions. I did some for 2018, but I approach it a little bit differently – for me new year’s resolutions are simple goals and wishes; something I could work on during this year. I don’t do “get into shape” kind of resolutions, I do more like “find a way to enjoy exercising and therefore do it regularly”; which I achieved in 2017 thanks to an app Zombies Run. Anyway, I really like the thought of having a word, I’ll think about mine for 2018. xx

    January 4, 2018 at 4:04 am
  • Reply jadesblog16

    I love this!
    I hope you had a brilliant new year xx

    January 4, 2018 at 12:44 pm
  • Reply Mummy Cat

    I have to agree, i dont know anyone whos stuck with their resolutions as they always make hard to reach ones, just go into the new year positive and fresh.. sod anything else

    January 5, 2018 at 1:09 am
  • Reply Alice Fairweather

    I totally agree, I feel you girl. I don’t have any resolutions and I’m going to keep being me! x

    January 5, 2018 at 1:31 am
  • Reply prettifulblog

    I absolutely love your posts! And I love the idea of a word of the Year.

    January 5, 2018 at 2:19 am
  • Reply Mikki Donaldson

    You’re so funny… but you’re so right. I don’t make resolutions. I know what I have to do so I just do it or choose not to. haha

    January 5, 2018 at 2:45 pm
  • Reply workingmommagic

    I agree that you can (& should) make a change whenever you want and not put so much pressure on the new year, however I love making resolutions year-round but there is something special about the start to a new year. 🙂

    January 6, 2018 at 3:36 am
  • Reply Lady Writes (@LadyWrites_Blog)

    I don’t set resolutions but I have a Bullet Journal and I record things I want to achieve throughout the year x

    January 8, 2018 at 8:16 am
  • Reply Kat

    I set resolutions for the first time this year. Pretty much the typical eat healthy and travel more goals. I’ve already failed at the eat healthy one. And I already travel a lot…so they are probably the worst resolutions I could have made. Maybe I’ll have a word of the year instead.

    January 9, 2018 at 10:30 pm
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