Over the past week I’ve been doing some research on what everyone else is feeling about good ol’ New Year’s resolutions. As the end of 2012 fast approaches, it seems a lot of people are doing away with this much-loved practice, and the seemingly inevitable disappointment and self-flagellation it necessitates.
Others, however, remain fierce advocates of the tradition, and offer a myriad of ways to explain away the overwhelming failure rate. (It’s because our resolutions weren’t S.M.A.R.T, you see… or because we set goals that were too lofty… or because we’d had three bottles of champagne when we scrawled our resolutions on the back of a used cocktail napkin at ten to midnight…)
And whilst I’ve touched on this subject in another post, this year, I’m still a little bit on the fence. And as midnight is fast approaching, it’s high time I made up my mind.
On the one hand, I’m a fan of goal setting in theory, even if I despise the terminology. As I’m a compulsive planner and list-maker, putting my dreams into words and on paper suits me well. What trips me up though is the guilt. And the realisation that as many of my resolutions are arbitrary (do yoga 3 times per week, for example), the guilt I feel is entirely self-imposed and thus completely avoidable.
So instead of making a list of resolutions this year and letting them hang like a giant grey guilt cloud over my head for the next 12 months, I think I’ll try something new. I call it the ‘set and forget’ (similar to the ‘set and regret’ of previous years, but with an important twist). It starts with me writing an outrageously optimistic list of everything I hope 2013 will bring (a tan, a six-pack and a best-selling novel come to mind). Then, I’ll hide it well away out of sight and mind until this time next year. At which point I will bring it out, glass of champagne in hand and treat myself to a hearty belly laugh at what I thought I needed out of 2013.
What do you think about New Year’s resolutions – friend or foe?