I have never been prone to setting resolutions – most of all New Year’s Resolutions. They have always made me uncomfortable, and for some good reasons. Some. The idea of the “New Year, new you” and it’s viral messaging always repulsed me. While the concept has the appearance of positivity, it’s essentially saying you as you are now is not good enough. It feeds the farcical weight-loss industry, it feeds anxiety and it feeds insecurity. I didn’t want to contribute to that cycle of “positivity” which essentially comes from self-loathing – however small.
If, like me, resolutions weren’t your bag, it’s still impossible to escape the wave of media asking about them. For a month we’ll still see brands and Instagram accounts telling us about how to change elements of our lives. So while I never wrote them down, my brain would scroll through things I wanted to do. Mostly healthy things. Things to achieve. But my stubborn nature never let me make them “official”. I can change and resolve to do more all-year round. Sticking it to the man, yo.
But I’ve ended up sticking it to myself. I’ve wanted to make minor changes with major effects for a couple of years now, but haven’t seemed to push them enough. Major procrastinator here. Maybe it’s a wave of wisdom or simply my getting fed up with myself, but this year feels like the year to shift. And while one can make big change at any time, there’s something about a new year – THIS new year – that feels like a good time to do it.
Maybe it’s the tsunami of horror, disappointment and frustration from 2016. And that’s just from the world – not even on a personal level. Maybe it’s being IN my 30s now. I don’t need to understand the reason, I just need to take advantage of the inspiration. It’s so natural to turn away from the cycle of hype – to me anyway. Especially in this age of the social, where you’re shown everyone’s every thought. And so many of them seem to say the same thing. We want to feel different, special or cleverer, so we move to do the opposite. Often stubbornly and, ironically, stupidly. I remember seeing someone on Twitter asking why South Africans were so horrified at the election of a man (Trump) that wouldn’t even affect us. He and I both know he’s smarter than that, yet he said it anyway. This age of sharing needs to make us so inwardly aware of why we form our opinions, and should maybe teach us that those opinions don’t always need to be shared.
I’m happy to have learned to take this hyped-up, overrated habit of resolutions and make it my own turn to change what I’ve WANTED to change. And nothing that anyone else thinks needs changing. Finally, after years of resistance I’ve given in to promising myself a better year. I’m starting to realise the value of affirmations, and as a cynical someone, this is not easy to accept or admit. Now I can see how setting goals and giving myself the assurances to complete them is not such a bad idea. (If you’re rolling your eyes, don’t worry, normally I’d be that guy.)
Not that this need apply to you. It’s more a testament to one’s ability to change one’s mind, and it’s good to know that even our most sturdy viewpoints can alter over time. Gives you a bit of hope for the people whose minds need a bit of changing.
So my main resolution? Commit to that ability to change things that aren’t working for me. Bit of a toughie for my first resolution, but let’s give it a go.