I wasn’t quite ready to let go of 2014. Not just because it was such a fantastic year for me, but also because this is the first new year since I was about 10 that I haven’t had my resolutions all set and rearing to go.
Around this time last year I shared my resolutions for 2014:
1. Go to Japan – tick. In June I did a whirlwind trip of Tokyo, Nagahama and Kyoto.
2. Graduate from uni – tick. I am now the proud owner of a very expensive piece of paper.
3. Focus on being happy – tick, tick and tick again. I left two particularly negative people behind, got a job I love, spent my first full calendar year living with Brandon, spent more time with family, climbed more mountains (literally) and much much more.
So I think in ticking all of those off, my brain must have also ticked off the entire concept of resolutions and decided we didn’t need to do that anymore. But I’m still in love with the whole idea of resolutions and the optimism that comes with January 1st (see more on that here), so I’ve racked my brain for this year’s goals.
The result is that in 2015, I’m making actual resolutions of my I-should-reallys.
Everyone has a few: “I should really drink less” or “I should really call my mum more often.” This year I’m going to stop being so vague about mine, work on them properly, and hopefully change “I should” to “I will.”
- I should really will get back in shape.
My fitness levels were great in 2012, pretty good in 2013, and then got destroyed in 2014 (I didn’t just fall off the bandwagon, I rolled it off a cliff). This could seem like a pretty shallow goal, but it’s not (well, it is a bit). In addition to fitting back into the entire size 8 wardrobe I’ve sadly left behind, more exercise and eating properly makes me genuinely more happy and more pleasant to be around, so it’s win-win for everyone. Bring on those endorphins.
- I should really will stop being so messy.
Seriously, I’m shocking. I thought living with a neat-freak who’s in the army would make me clean up my act (I prefer my puns intended) but 18 months later I’ve actually just dragged him down to my level.
- I should really will look at my phone less.
I’m not addicted to my phone – I could gladly go without it for a week. But if it’s there, I play with it. A few weeks ago I looked up and out the bus window and there was the most gorgeous sunset over the river. Instead of going straight home I got off and went for a walk to enjoy it. Who knows how many more I’ve missed? This year I won’t spend entire bus trips scrolling past the same Instagram posts I saw the hour before.
If you haven’t made any resolutions yet, why not tackle one of your I-should-reallys?
There’s a statistic floating around at the moment, getting quoted by every news outlet and their dog: only 8% of new year’s resolutions are kept. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but, forever the resolutionist, I’d like to think that there are two significant reasons for this:
1. People feel like they have to come up with something impressive/deep/interesting on short notice. So on December 31st or the days after, they pick something they don’t really care about.
2. We often choose something too specific. They say that goals need to be measurable, but when you set yourself a benchmark you’re also making it easier to fail. Saying that you’ll run more often is easier to keep than “I will run four times a week.”
By turning I-Should-Reallys into resolutions, you’re more likely to follow it. Not only are they generally not guided by a specific number (so you’re less likely to feel a sense of failure if you don’t make much progress for a week or two) but they’re also something that you know you want to do – you’ve just been putting it off for a long time.
Remember – it’s a year’s resolution, not a short term goal. Don’t stress if you haven’t completed it by April, or if you go backwards for a while in July – you’ve got twelve months to work it out. The best ones will give you something to work on, and become part of your lifestyle.
Whether it’s quitting smoking or going kayaking more often, let me know what your I-Should-Reallys-Turned-Resolutions are below