Sunday, 13 January 2013
The theory of the 'resolutionist'...
Last New Year, I was a self-confessed resolution junkie. Yup, armed with a list of about a zillion things that I was oh-so-absolutely going to do/change/tweak, I convinced myself that come January 1st, I'd be a brand spanking new me. A complete reinvention of self, initiated entirely by a slight numerical change in the calendar.
Of course, come January 4th, the immense pressure that I'd bestowed upon myself ensured that I was a) bored stiff of the idea, and b) still exactly the same person that I'd been 5 days previously. I wasn't en route to being any slimmer, any richer, any more organised, or any funnier, and I certainly wasn't an accomplished novelist with a penchant for yoga and gourmet cooking. I know. Gourmet cooking?! What the devil was I thinking?! This New Years, I reflected upon the resolution apocalypse of 2012, and I decided to approach the whole event a little differently.
I don't doubt that the dawning of a New Year is a good time to re-evaluate our lives and create new pathways. I'm a firm believer that the pursuit to better ourselves is one that we should all actively embrace, and any event that has the power to inspire us to do so deserves champion status. After all, we could draw up a list of resolutions somewhere in between burnt pizza and Eastenders on a rainy Thursday, but the majority of us don't. We evolve into creatures of habit; developing routines, and becoming too demotivated or too apprehensive to say 'fuck this. I'm going to do this, or learn that, or finally stop launching wads of post-it notes like missiles at the innocent heads of my colleagues'. Chuckle.
New Year is a fan-bloody-tastic time because it snaps us out of that. Huzzah! Temporarily, we become over-excited, incurable optimists. We can suddenly do/say/be whoever the devil we want to be. We become our own best friend, full of belief and confidence that this year will 'be the making of us'. This year will be 'AH-maz-ing.' This year will be the 'BEST YEAR EVER!' Yippedy-doooooooo-dah! Let's wrap our porky, unshaved legs around our heads and make a million pounds in a week to celebrate!
So yes, New Year is brilliant because it bestows upon us this feeling of great personal empowerment; a sense if you will, of the direction we should be heading in. However, for all of the aforementioned, 'BEST YEAR EVER!' reasons, it's also a tad dangerous, as the euphoria of the occasion seems to hijack our basic sense of logic. It may well have the power to inspire us to be better, but it also has the power to send us galloping gleefully into the peculiar world of resolution bonkerism; the kind of world where we completely forget that we hate yoga, that we never will get that date with Channing Tatum (sob), and that the snooze button will always win. (Zzz. Alarm. Snooze. Zzz. Alarm. Snooze. Zzz. Alarm. 'Shut up!!'. Snooze. Zzz. Alarm. Alarm clock/phone flies across the room in an angry rage.)
I've come to the realisation that the trick is to think like a one legged pigeon. During the art of 'resolutionising' our lives, we should take small, wonky pigeon-like steps, from A to B. A for Ambition. B for Brain.
When the impending New Year hijacks our basic sense of logic, we do entirely the opposite. We find ourselves thinking like a beady-eyed eagle, soaring from A to Z; missing out all of the important stuff that we need to do along the way. This has a terrible habit of making our resolutions a tad far fetched. Accomplished novelist and a gourmet chef? In 365 days?! Whilst I know there are of course a rare species of super clever, super militant resolutionists who can actually pull these tremendous feats off (a hearty bow to you all), I can assure you, that I am not one of those people, and you probably aren't either. The only thing that I learnt to cook in 2012 was a massive, meaty slice of humble pie, and apparently that doesn't taste so good.
Whilst I was of course still tempted to spice up my resolution list with things such as 'abseil naked', 'win the Nobel peace prize', 'blog every other day', and 'become a wizard', I decided instead upon 4 fairly attainable goals, which were bred by taking my biggest desires for the foreseeable future, and working out the next step towards achieving them. B for Brain folks, B for Brain.
We're now 13 glorious days into a glorious new year, and I haven't yet slipped up. So here we have it; my first incredibly enlightening theory of this year...
'In order to be a good resolutionist, you must stop being an over-excited, beady-eyed eagle, and release your inner pigeon; the asymmetrical version. Or, to put it more simply, A for Ambition, B for Brain.'
If anyone would like to refer me to Mensa based on my obvious, supreme intelligence, I would be exceptionally grateful. Insert pigeon noise here.