As we enter 2016, my social media news feeds and general everyday conversation has been filled with people reliving their best moments of 2015, and making solid New Years resolutions for the year ahead. They vow to give up alcohol, to become a regular gym bunny, green smoothie drinkers, and yoga-goers.
One statistic stated that 1 in 11 people will stick to their New Years Resolutions. So why has this become a point where society believes they need to make big promises, and are filled with a sense of failure and judgment if they aren’t upheld?
Myself, at 11:45pm on the 31st December, waiting in the freezing cold with my ‘gin and tonic coat’ on, gazing at the Big Ben and waiting for the fireworks to begin, I vowed to eat clean, drink less, go to the gym more, make more time for myself and learn to not take life so seriously. On the night of 1st January I found myself tucking into a huge plate of Spaghetti Bolognese, with a mountain of garlic bread and a large bottle (okay it was two) of red wine with my boyfriend.
Straight away I felt a sense of anxiety that instantly I’d failed, and I was punishing myself for it. I had an overwhelming sense of regret that this year would be no better than the last, and I had fallen at the first hurdle.
So why should we put so much pressure on a New Years resolution? It shouldn’t be about making big promises that either, you know full well you can’t keep, or that are going to take a little while to fully embed into your every day life.
What I have learnt is the best thing about new year is that feeling that you’ve reached a milestone in your life and here, this exact moment and from this exact day onwards is where you can wipe the slate clean, and start afresh. It should be about celebrating who you are and setting your own achievable goals that you look forward to completing in the year ahead.
One of the best quotes I have seen this holiday season is ‘Eat clean and stay fit. But eat a burger once in a while.’ And that’s what it should be about. Setting yourself some new goals and being motivated, but also taking some time out for yourself, to relax and enjoy the moment, and look forward to seeing what the year ahead has in store.
I’ve put my New Years resolutions below. I’d love to hear yours.
– eat clean and experiment with my cooking so I can enjoy healthy and delicious meals
– start reading again
– catch up with friends at least once a month
– get more sleep
– don’t take things too seriously (I’m a serial worrier.)