How to succeed with your New Year’s resolutions this January

Disclaimer — Don’t make any


Every year in January there is a sudden frenzy where everybody you know simultaneously decides that they are going to improve themselves. For the past 11 months, they have been content with their general demeanor, but there is something about January that makes us all question everything. I, too, am guilty of this abrupt self-dissatisfaction and subsequent striving towards self-improvement. And now that January is beginning to come to a close, I will share with you the progress — or the lack thereof — that I have made this month to try to become a better version of myself.

My first resolution — along with many others I am sure — was to go to the gym. After months of dodging it on the basis that I don’t own a pair of luluLemon leggings and therefore couldn’t possibly walk in to the AFC, I had decided to overcome my gym-wear fear and sign up to an exercise class. “7:30 a.m. start seems pretty early,” I thought to myself. However, I managed to roll out of bed and opened my eyes just wide enough to find the gym clothes at the back of my closet. As I got into the car and drove to the class I thought to myself, “This is it! The new me! The me that goes to spin in the morning and drinks green juices for fun.” 

Well, I got a bit ahead of myself it seems. I did, in fact, make it to the gym that day. I did not, however, make it past the charming receptionist who kindly informed me that the class was full. Another resolution of mine was to think positively, and so I gave myself a metaphorical pat on the back for making it through the doors of the gym and put my gym-clothes firmly at the back of my closet until next January.

Another resolution was to become more thrifty and economical. “No, sorry, I can’t get Roots tonight actually because I’m really trying to save money so I’ve decided that I’m going to cook every night for the rest of the semester.” Those were my parting words as I smugly went back to cooking my carefully chosen vegetables that I knew were going to save me so much money. This went on for a few days, and I watched my friends spending money on food from the Corner and really did felt a sense of achievement. 

Until I made the fatal mistake of going to the University bookstore. The total of $350 flashed up on the screen and I winced, but consoled myself slightly knowing that this cost was unavoidable. To comfort myself further about this blow to my bank account, I decided that it was an excellent idea to go for a glass of wine. And another. And another. This pattern of spending continued to Littlejohn’s and Christian’s and finally back to my apartment where I realized that not only did I spend any money that I had saved on food, but there was also actually nothing at all that I had bought from the grocery store that I wanted to eat. I headed out to get some Roots and told myself that next year I really must start to cook more.

My third resolution — and I’m sure I am not alone in this— was to use my phone less. I make sure the first thing I do is to delete all of my social media apps. “Phew!” I thought. “That was easy! And wow, now I feel so liberated and stuff from the evil that is social media.” 

And then it happened. First the twitching, picking up my phone and putting it down again. Checking to see if I had a Snapchat that I knew wouldn’t be there. Then the hallucinations began. I closed my eyes and could just imagine the exciting photos of my friends’ lunches that were going up on Instagram. I could almost taste the inevitable “Sunday brunch with the gals” which graced my Facebook every weekend. 

As a compromise, I let myself log onto Safari to do a quick little check of Facebook. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt quickly check Instagr… And 24 hours later my heart beat resumed its normal pattern and all social media apps were fully restored. Instagram and Facebook will probably be out of fashion next year, I think. I’ll totally give them up next January.

After musing over the debatable successes of my New Year’s resolutions, I reflected on the fact that maybe it was not my resolutions that were the problem, but rather the concept of setting be all and end all resolutions in the first place. Instead of designating January as a time to make sudden and perhaps unrealistic changes, next year my resolution will be to avoid them altogether. 

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