A new year means a new you, right? It offers the opportunity for you to become a healthier, more accomplished, all round shinier, upgraded version of the 2015 you. All those well intentioned new year resolutions you’ve made, you’ll absolutely stick to, won’t you? Won’t you…?
If you do, I congratulate you in advance for your resolve, determination and discipline. You are a winner.
For the rest of you, who in the back of your minds know that by February, the lycra gym wear you bought in the sales will be pushed to the back of the drawer; for those who will discover that Mandarin / the ukulele / drinking kale juice every morning is just not for you, do not despair.
For years I didn’t bother with new year resolutions because I knew they were doomed to failure, but last year I came up with three:
1. Get healthy
2. Practice the piano regularly
3. Play the recorder on a New York street.
Apart from some attempts to walk a bit more, I failed comprehensively at keeping these. But I don’t think the answer is simply not to bother. Instead, we just need to be more realistic, so here are some ideas for more attainable resolutions. WE CAN DO THIS (or at least some of it).
1. Put things away when you’ve finished using them.
2. Keep change in your coat pockets for buskers whose efforts you’ve appreciated.
3. Always remember to offer people a drink when they visit you, soon after they’ve come in. This also applies to trade people. Offer that electrician a coffee.
4. At parties, look for people on their own and go and talk to them. If it appears they don’t appreciate it, move on and don’t let it get you down. You did the right thing.
5. Recycle. ‘Create much waste, repent at leisure.’ (Yes, I just made that up and I realise it doesn’t quite work.)
6. If you’ve met someone for drinks / dinner, put your phone away, unless it is used to google something as a conversation aid. (Browsing while people have gone to the loo is also acceptable).
7. Cut down on your caffeine intake. Drink more water.
8. Choose kindness over being witty at other people’s expense.
9. Regularly change your toothbrush.
10. Turn off electrical appliances, don’t leave them on standby.
11. Exfoliate occasionally.
12. Be mindful of your posture.
13. Don’t say anything behind people’s back (including anonymously on social media) that you wouldn’t be willing to say to them face to face – see point 8.
14. Buy locally as much as possible.
15. Smile at people you see regularly (in your neighbourhood, on your commute). Maybe even say ‘hello’, or even have a conversation.
16. Look up. You’ll see stars, clouds, birds, trees, interesting architecture. Remember to look down again, else you might trip.
Oh, the other solution is to stop being so hung up on new year being the time for self improvement. If you decide you want to take up the harp on 17 August, just do it. You may be more successful than if you tried starting on 1 January.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!