Tag Archives: resolutions

The invisible, immortal Priest of Time

So, here we are – a ‘New Year’, an arbitrary adjectival assignation to a passage of time that allows us to pretend we have a blank slate, that the excesses of Christmas, the sins of omission and commission of the past 365 days have been absolved by the invisible, immortal Priest of Time.

You know what? Once you’ve crawled out from under your hangover, you’ll be stumbling into exactly the same shitty life you were living on December 31st. Exactly the same bombed-out mediocrity that you’ve been wallowing in for the past 8,760 hours of your rapidly-diminishing life.

“Call me but Romeo, and I be new baptis’d”, exclaims Shakespeare’s doomed hero.

Only he’s not, and neither are you. None of us get a free pass on our mistakes and misdeeds.

New Year is an illusion – firstly, an illusion that we can control time, that it flows as we dictate, and, secondly, an illusion that we can ever completely change, or ever be allowed to entirely reinvent ourselves. And the ultimate lie that paints this illusion as reality? New Year’s resolutions.

If you actually were going to lose weight/stop something/start something/get a new job, you’d’ve done it by now. Apart from getting the job, for example. Which leads me nicely into my next point – the fact that it is completely moronic and self-defeating to set resolutions that rely, in some way, on other people.

You’re setting yourself up for failure if you hang the future of the next 365 days on an action, or course of actions, that only someone else can take. People are capricious, mercurial beings, and very rarely behave as we would like them to. By all means apply for as many jobs that interest you as you can, rework your CV, take some courses that will make it – and therefore you – look better to potential employers, but don’t, whatever you do, make a New Year’s resolution to “get a new job”. In fact, don’t make a New Year’s resolution to do anything.

Without the impetus and frowning judgement of New Year’s resolutions looking over my shoulder, I’ve managed to buy my first house, get engaged (and set a date for the wedding), and “write more” – that vague resolution of scribblers everywhere. Vague, and easily achievable – basically, total up all the words you wrote last year, then write one more. There. You’ve achieved your resolution to “write more”.

The one resolution you perhaps should make is to read more scathing sarcasm. There’s plenty of it on the internet – sit down, leave FaceCrap and TwatALot alone for a bit, and instead have a look around for your particular brand of sarcasm.

Eat some more turkey

Around this time of year, one of the most common phrases is “New year, new start”. You see it everywhere. On social networking websites, in general conversation, not to mention every five fucking seconds on the shitty soaps people insist on watching from morning to night every day of the festive period. What people don’t seem to understand, though, is that they say the same thing every single year – and they never actually manage to achieve any of the things they put on the list. In fact, the only thing they do is waste the time they spent writing the list in the first place.

And seriously, why make New Year your start date in the first place? This is no joke – I’ve heard people talking about things they want to achieve, in August, only to say “oh it’s okay, I’ll put it as my New Year’s resolution next year”. They could have achieved it several times over in the time between saying it and New Year, and by the time New Year actually comes, chances are they’ll have forgotten about it anyway.

And why do people think that waking up on that particular morning is any different to waking up on any other morning? In fact, if anything, it’s worse. Who wants to start a new fitness regime when they have the world’s worst hangover? Or when they’ve spent the past fortnight eating so much they can hardly move? Suddenly, running ten miles six days a week doesn’t seem quite such a good idea.

The one thing that really annoys me, though, is when people waste money on resolutions that they’re never going to keep. By this, I mean like joining the fucking gym. Sure, they can be great value for money. Where I live, it only costs £10 a month for gym and pool memberships – but that means nothing if you’re never going to use the sodding thing. And some people pay much more than me! Great, you’ll go every day for a week. That’s highly commendable (and don’t forget to post those workouts on Facebook, whatever you do! But trust me, that’s another rant for another day) but what about after that? What about after the first week, when you remember how warm your bed is, and just how cold it is to walk to the gym?

Even worse are the people who drive to the gym, and then spend an hour walking on the treadmill. If this is you, well done. Not only are you wasting money on your gym membership in the first place, but you’re also wasting fuel and time – when you could have just opened your front door and gone for a fucking walk for free. Honestly, nobody will charge you for walking around where you live! It’s amazing. That way, when you decide to give it up, you’re not stuck in a 12 month membership that you’re going to resent paying for the rest of the year – only to keep signed up the following year because you’re motivated again and have decided that “this year is the one”.

Basically, you need to face the truth. If you’re going to stop smoking, you’ll be able to do it at any time of year. Don’t do it when you’re likely to be tired, broke and hungover from Christmas. It’s clearly never going to work. If you want to get fit, get fucking fit when you decide to. Honestly, exercise is much more fun in the summer anyway. Who wants to start running outside in January? Nobody. If you’re going to lose weight, lose weight. It’s not rocket science; nor is it something you can do for a few weeks and then just magically be thin forever.

Waking up on the morning of January 1st (or, if we’re being realistic, probably the afternoon, or even evening) is no different to waking up on any other day. You can go for a run – but you can do that any time. Writing a list of what you’re going to do is just setting yourself up for failure, and wasting the time you could have spent doing the things on the list, so just do them. Wake up, and learn that if you can’t do something one day, you’re not going to be able to do it just because you’ve unwrapped a new calendar.

When you’ve actually changed your life, feel free to brag (keep it quick, please) but until then, shut the fuck up and eat some more turkey.