New year’s resolutions, intentions, goals, whatever name you want to label these ridiculous set of demeaning, hateful rules and limitations, I’m calling bullshit on every single one of them.
Every year I get on my soap box about this, but I feel it needs to be said. It needs to be repeated. We need to be reminded. That despite it being January, despite it being a new year, and despite being heavily ‘influenced’ by social media, new year’s resolutions aren’t mandatory. We don’t have to do them. None of us actually have to go in for any of this crap.
So, as a complete antithesis of the ‘new year, new you’ brigade that’s bombarding our social feeds at the moment, I’m here to tell you why I think it’s all a load of bollocks and how I for one am switching off from the whole damn thing.
Let’s face it, January can feel shit enough as it is. The mornings and evenings are still dark, it’s cold and wet, and with the sparkle and joy of Christmas no longer brightening up our houses or our moods for that matter, things can seem downright depressing. So, why oh why would we subject ourselves to the torture that are new year’s resolutions? Why would we force ourselves to give something up that we love or commit to starting something that in reality we probably really don’t love!?!
I’ll tell you what the answer is… it’s because everybody else is. Deny it all you like, but the reason many of us take to setting what are often unrealistic and unachievable goals at this time of year is ultimately down to peer pressure. Whether it’s pressure from people we know, pressure from who we follow on social media, pressure from ourselves, or even subliminal pressure that creeps in from what we are exposed to in our daily lives, the pressure to conform and to ‘better’ ourselves is everywhere. There is literally no escape.
Falling For The Hype
What I’ve noticed this year in particular, is the increase in influencers who are setting intentions or words for the new year. Now in itself, this seems harmless enough, right? But interestingly, these influencers are the very same influencers who spout on about self love, embracing your flaws, being true to you. So then, tell me this. If we are to be advocates for ourselves, if we are to love who we are, what we look like, what we stand for, what we do etc., why on earth are we in the market to change who we are? Bullshit alert! Intentions, words for the year… they are new year’s resolutions scattered in glitter and sold as something new, but underneath they remain the same. Resolutions to better yourself in some way. A limiting, self loathing, vow of misery.
And trust me, I’ve nearly succumbed. For a wordy person like me, choosing a word for the year is like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey. I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t been tempted. I spent more time than I should have pondering over what my word could be. I even put it on my to do list. I started thinking about how I could do a whole social post on choosing a word, what my word would be. But the more I thought about it, I realised it was just another gift wrapped turd. It’s still a resolution, it’s just had a bow wrapped round it and then ‘influenced’. And by sharing what my word was going to be, I would become that influencer!
Don’t Force It
If you’re feeling the pressure to lay out some resolutions of your own, which by all means if that’s what you want to do then go for it, you do you and all that shiz. But before you do I want you to ask yourself why. Like really have a good old think about it. I guess what I’m saying is that just because January is the start of a new year, it doesn’t mean that you have to be sucked into this whole new year new you bollocks. Because who set the rule that January was the month for setting goals anyway? Like seriously, are we expected to wake up on the 1st of January and just know what these goals are? And I guess really that’s my biggest beef with them. Not so much that we shouldn’t have aspirations for ourselves. I mean, yes sure, it’s great if we can be all I love myself as I am, but it would be very naive to go through life not wanting to strive for something. We just need to perhaps reconsider what it is we’re striving for and take a closer look at the reasons why we’re striving for it. No, my biggest beef is that we are pressurised into fitting within a certain time frame. It’s January therefore I must look at some self improvement. It’s utter bollocks.
Don’t ever feel like you have to be in a rush to set goals. Goal setting can become a chore, a laboured task in which we desperately force ourselves to try and come up with something, anything, that we can aim towards. I should know, I’ve fallen prey to it myself many a time. Even this year, even after all my ranting about it in previous years, still I found myself on new year’s day sat on the sofa under a blanket, wallowing in a slightly hazy hungover state desperately trying to come up with some 2023 goals for myself. What could I hope to achieve? What things would I like to be able to do? What bad habits could I stop? And don’t get me wrong, I am far from perfect, there are plenty of flaws and bad habits that are crying out to be changed if I wanted to. But that’s just it, deep down I don’t actually want to. And if I’m being completely honest, I actually can’t be arsed to!
Funnily enough as I sat there racking my brains the only thing that happened was that I felt even more stressed because I couldn’t come up with any. And that’s my point. Goals, intentions, aspirations they don’t just surface in January. No, they pop into your head at completely random points throughout the year. And when they do pop up and you think you know what I really want to do x, y, z or I’ve had enough of this, that and the other, that’s when you should do something about it. Not January.
You Do You
Fresh starts, new beginnings don’t need to start on a Monday, or in January, or at the stroke of midnight. These things are not linear, you set your own rules in life, so whatever you do try not to be influenced. I’m not expecting you all to agree with me, that too would be a form of influence, this is about choice. The choice to do what you want to do. But if like me, you are fed up of the shit that goes around at this time of year, call bullshit.
If you want to have a glass of wine on a Tuesday night in January, my god just do it. Don’t fancy going to the gym in the morning (because let’s face it it’s going to be busier than an Aldi that’s been restocked with Prime), sod it, don’t go. Can’t think of a goal or a word for the year, fuck it. None of it matters. Just know that while some of you are doing Dry January, Veganuary or whatever other wanky word someone has conjured up for a month of misery, I’ll be sat here necking the last of the Christmas Baileys.