We’re currently four days into January and as loathed as I am to admit it, I have failed 2018 so far.
As has become the norm in Western Culture I, like so many others, sat on my arse for long stretches of time between Christmas and New Year, drinking wine as soon as I deemed it to be ‘getting dark outside’, eating an outrageous amount of chocolate, neglecting my hairbrush and absorbing every film on Netflix, all the while promising myself that I was only doing this because ‘in a couple of days it will be January and when January is here ~this is all going to change~’
No more calories for me.
Running every day.
No more fags.
No more wine.
I’m going to lose half a stone, get some abs, work harder, keep my house tidy all the time, wake up earlier, dress better, cook myself a healthy and nutritious lunch every day, get less spots, reply to all my emails as soon as they come in and stop with the fucking chocolate.
Well it’s January 4th, I’ve eaten all the chocolate in the house, even the stuff I don’t like that much. I haven’t so much as seen my trainers since before Christmas, I have a huge spot in the middle of my forehead (might be something to do with the chocolate) and have worn nothing but baggy jumpers since the New Year’s Day hangover. I’ve got 792 emails in my inbox. I have no blog posts organised, I haven’t unpacked my Christmas suitcase yet and I ate a can of baked beans for lunch yesterday because CBA with going to the co-op.
The only area in which I haven’t completely and utterly fucked it is with the ‘no smoking between 9 and 5 on weekdays’ rule that I set myself. So far, so good on that one. Yes, you can be absolutely sure of the fact that whenever anyone asks me if I had any New Year’s Resolutions, I tell them it was just the smoking thing and keep very quiet about the rest of it.
I’ve been looking forward to January 1st for a long time now, I am the queen of fresh-starts (self proclaimed), so how have I fucked it so badly? How did I take the fresh starts or all fresh starts ~a new year starting on a MONDAY~ and let it pass me by so dramatically?
I’ve been poorly, so that’s the official party line. It was the snot and subsequent lack of energy that is to blame for my short comings. That’s what I’ve been telling myself.
In reality though, I think this might just be a really well timed excuse, I’m not sure I was really ready to make the changes that society wanted of me. Surely if I did, I would have done, ailments be damned!?
So I was ill on January 1st with a hangover (the biggest design floor in this whole process if you ask me was putting the ‘cleanest’ day of the year immediately after the biggest party night of the year), so decided to start my resolutions on January 2nd. (Who seriously goes to the gym on January 1st anyway? Anyone?) Unfortunately for me I transitioned seamlessly from hangover to worst-cold-of-my-life and have spent the last few days not doing any of the things I told myself I would.
Which basically means so far 2018 resembles 2017, with a bit less tinsel and joy. What a start eh?!
Even before I succumbed to my bed and let this cold take over my body though, I think I knew that this wasn’t going to be the sort of New Year transformation that they make documentaries on.
Although the me of December 28th was full to the brim with good intentions (just like the me of every single Sunday night after eighteen roast potatoes), come January 1st, the metaphorical (and in this case literal) Monday morning to trump all Monday mornings was here and the motivation just sort of fizzled away.
You get on the scales and tell yourself it’s not ~that~ bad.
You are faced with your gym card every time you open your wallet but tell yourself now is a stupid time to go because it will be full of every other sucker trying to shift the turkey weight,
You stand for a long time in the supermarket looking at the salads and reason with yourself that it’s just too cold for that shit right now.
Before long you’re asking what the point of any of it is. Really, was the old you so bad? Granted, I’m a little chubby, but that’s not the end of the world is it?
(Bryony Gordon wrote a great piece last week for The Telegraph that 100% makes you realise that that is not the end of the world, I suggest you go and read it)
Everywhere you look at this time of year you are met with pressure. Pressure not to drink, not to smoke, not to eat sugar, to run, to lift weights, to lose four stone and above all: to feel fantastic.
You’re supposed to absolutely adore this process; glow from every pore as the sins of December ebb away, shed weight like a snake losing it’s skin and smile from your soul as you turn down a night at the pub with all of your friends to spiralise another new vegetable.
It’s supposed to be a glorious feeling, dragging your exhausted arse across the city to make it to the 6am spin class you massively regret signing up for because it was on offer, a joy to moisturise your skin every day, a thrill to have porridge for breakfast for the sixth day in a row.
But real life just isn’t like that. Because if it was, there would be no cause for resolutions at all. It’d all be perfect all the time anyway.
You don’t need one day to make a change. And you certainly don’t need that one day to be the one that happened three days ago. You don’t need to wait another year for the chance to make changes. There’s something that the marketing companies don’t want you to know and that’s that you can make a change any time you want.
I want to be healthier. I permanently want to be healthier and more organised and more shit together-y.
Me and the rest of the world then.
And maybe I’ll find a way of making that work. But if I do, it will be in my own time, my own way.
Just because it didn’t happen for me this week doesn’t mean it won’t happen next week and just because I failed where others succeeded, it doesn’t make me any less of a success.
The old me was pretty great, and if she ever shows up, I’m sure I’ll love the new me too. But for now I’m just going to keep doing my best, safe in the knowledge that just because I failed at my resolutions, 2018 can still be effing wonderful.
How are you getting on with your resolutions? Or have you not started them yet?