(*Image sourced from & credited to Flickr user Nanagyei*)
And so here we are. 2015, good day to you. A brand-spanking new, shiny, sparkly, untouched year expands before us, an unused calendar our new chapter, a canvas of opportunity and self-reinvention...
Last night, we clinked our glasses and slurred a customary 'neeeeeeew yaaaaar, new meeeeeee!'. This will be IT. This will be OUR year: the year that we shall effortlessly glide into that dress that will make our ass look so delicious it could be put on a platter and served up at The Ritz, the year that we will run marathons, concoct culinary masterpieces, enjoy the mechanical grind of celery crunching, double our salary, be a total ray of sunshine to everybody at all times, blog every single week, fuck shit up and change the entire world, discover untouched reserves of discipline and willpower, and absolutely not sleep with that annoyingly gorgeous guy to whom we only exist when he's drunk at 3am.
As humans, we often evolve into creatures of habit: developing routines, becoming complacent, becoming too demotivated or too apprehensive to say 'fuck this, I'm going to do this or learn that, or stop cracking terrible jokes that send my colleagues into pre-10am despair.' (Sorry Liz.) New Year seems to snap us out of that. Temporarily, we become over-excited, incurable optimists, and the dawning of this expansion of untainted time bestows upon us this feeling of great personal empowerment, a sense, if you will, of the direction we should be heading in. This year will be 'THE best year EV-AAAH!' Won't it?! Let's wrap our porky legs around our heads and make a million pounds in a week to celebrate!
It's easy to get swept up in the giddy, euphoric merry-go-round of New Year's resolve, particularly after spending a festive fortnight either drinking Prosecco into the early hours, or curled up on the sofa in a onesie demolishing biscuit selection boxes and the whole of Tesco Express's cheese and cracker supply. Post Christmas, our sedated, indulgent lifestyles and distended stomachs leave us feeling a little defeated, slightly self-loathing perhaps. The only way to fix this merry mess is to enthusiastically declare that we will spend 2015 climbing every mountain in Europe, despite the fact that we work full-time and emotionally collapse whenever the escalator's broken at the shopping centre, and we have to ascend up 3 small flights of stairs to the next level of Debenhams.
Yes, New Year may well ignite a spark of positive change, but it also has the ability to send us gleefully galloping into a peculiar world of resolution bonkerism, the kind of world where we completely forget that we hate yoga, and that we're only ever going to dash out of bed at 5am if we're experiencing a sudden, overwhelming urge to urinate or fancy some crisps. By January 4th, the immense pressure that we have placed upon ourselves means that we are a) completely bored of every last one of our grand plans, b) still exactly the same person that we were 5 days previously, and c) desperate to stay home and eat pies.
The answer is simple. Just be realistic. Pen resolutions until the cows come home if you will, but make sure they fit in with your current lifestyle. Make the changes that you'd happily consider without the aphrodisiac of an enthusiastic countdown and today's 'that was SO worth it' hangover. (Was it though? Really?)
Accept that you are still you. If you're not this hilarious, studious, philanthropic, well-groomed, overtly sporty human that other folk's Instagram photos and Sports Direct sales demand that you ought to be, you're probably still not going to be those things come the end of 2015, not all at once anyway. And you know what, it really doesn't matter.
Just be you, but better. Aim for that every day, through the inevitable highs and lows that 2015 will bring. And if you fall off of the horse, don't lose your shit over it. Just get back on the horse. But eat a pie first.