It’s that time of year again, when we all start making a mental tally of quite how many mince pies we have gorged ourselves on, how many fags we smoked while out partying the night away, how many late nights and hangovers we’ve put ourselves through, and of course, how many times we have let our exercise regime slip between the cracks over the festive period.
The guilt slips in and we start making a list of all the ways we should be improving our lives, the way we treat ourselves and others and all those changes we should be making to fit with society’s view of how we should look and behave. Well I say NO MORE! Throw off the shackles of society’s expectations this New Year and stop yourself from becoming one of those annoying people who post “New Year New Me” Facebook statuses, and join the real world.
I firmly believe that if you want to set yourself a goal, you should not wait for a specific date or for a huge blow out over Christmas and then try to change your life in the most miserable month of the year. If you really want to make a serious change, why not start any other date of the year? I don’t understand why people are always so obsessed with changing themselves instead of focusing on celebrating all they have achieved over the course of the year. For example, I may have lost a couple of friends this year through complicated friendships that blew up, or even through death, but that is not what I will be focusing on this New Year’s Eve – instead I will be thinking about the amazing friends I made this year, the incredible experiences I have had and the great work opportunities I have been given.
Too many people start thinking they must lose weight, be healthier, stop smoking etc at this time of year, but the problem is that while a very small number actually keep to their resolutions, the vast majority fail to. This is because so many people have this terrible habit of making false promises to themselves because of feelings of obligation that they should not subject themselves to. Fair enough, you might genuinely want to achieve these things, but so many start out thinking they MUST do these things rather than really WANTING to. This is the difference – if you really want to do something you will do it no matter what day of the week it is or how hard it is. If you simply think it is something you should do, you are less likely to really commit to the changes – like my boyfriend who has been promising his family he would quit smoking every year as long as I have known him!
If I ask my readers for one thing, and one thing only this year, please let it be to use this New Year’s Eve to celebrate your achievements and how far you have come and the friends and family who have joined your for the ride, rather than worrying about some silly ideas of conforming to society expectations by changing who you are to become some “cheap, skinny, sober bitch”. You can’t need to change that much if you have all your friends, family and loved ones around you this Christmas – so don’t resign yourself to thinking you need to change in this way when you should be proud of yourself.
I don’t mean to sound cocky in any way, mainly because I am applying this to everyone of you who is reading – but we’ve survived another year of heavy job cuts, redundancies, Gangnam Style, storms, terrorist attacks, people being beaten to death in the streets, and much more horrific crimes. We should be pleased to have these, a roof over our heads, perhaps not the job we want, but a foot on the career ladder and hope for the future. We have loved ones, relationships, friendships and plenty more to build on next year. We should look at the positives and what we want to continue into 2014 to keep building ourselves up, but without sacrificing the person we have become.
I hope you have a very Happy New Year and good luck for 2014.