I have never been very good at keeping New Year’s resolutions. There were many years where I resolved to give up drinking or smoking, only to find myself drunk and chain-smoking at half-past midnight on New Year’s Day and then I’d think ‘oh well, fuck it’ and give up my resolution until the next year. It did occur to me to let myself off until I’d slept and begun New Year’s Day proper, but for many years I would end up in the pub or whatever on New Year’s Day and then I’d think ‘oh well, fuck it’ and… rinse and repeat.
I actually have given up smoking and drinking – temporarily, at least – a few times, but never as a New Year’s resolution. It’s always been something I just decided at some point: ‘right, I’m done with that now’ and gave up whichever as soon as I’d made up my mind to do so, usually quite successfully (for however many months/years, anyway). It seems kind of pointless waiting for January to roll around if you’ve already decided to do something. Just start today. Why wait?
On top of that, setting a date for something is generally setting myself up for failure because dates can be postponed. Last year, for example, I fucked up my resolution immediately. I can’t even remember what it was now, but I remember thinking that it was okay that I’d fucked it up because I could just try again when it was Chinese New Year. Once I’d Googled the date because I didn’t have a clue when it was – what with me not being at all Chinese, nor having any associations whatsoever with the country or its culture – I decided that was an awesome idea, because Chinese New Year 2017 was the day after my birthday so this all seemed right somehow.
When I fucked up my Chinese New Year’s resolution, I thought ‘well, really, spring is the time of new beginnings so maybe I’ll try it then…’ and then when I fucked up my spring resolution I thought ‘fuck it all, fuck resolutions, fuck ever even trying to do anything.’
So why am I even bothering this year? Well, this year my resolutions are different. For one thing, I’m not choosing these resolutions because I’ve decided at the last minute that I need a resolution and so I’ve gone with the first thing that comes to mind. Instead, I’ve thought them all out. They all involve gradual changes and have minimal rules, so I can’t really fuck them up as long as I don’t give up completely. Any change, no matter how small, is positive. Small changes accumulate and become big changes. Even the tiniest change is progress.
In my last post, I talked about how my first resolution is to simplify my life somewhat.1 My second resolution is to be nicer to myself and to take better care of myself. Some of the changes I want to make are easy, some of them are hard. No more hard drugs. No more fizzy drinks.2
But these aren’t hard and fast rules. If I’m at a party and someone offers me some C/coke then I can accept it if I want to. It’s more that I can’t do it all the fucking time. The rule here is more like needing to stop and think: ‘is this good for me and do I really want it that much?’ as opposed to resolutions that involve losing a certain amount of weight or refusing to eat entire food groups, etc.
It really is more about being kinder to myself. I look after other people but when it comes to myself I just make terrible impulsive decisions because I don’t really think about what I’m doing. If I’m giving up anything, it’s being a dick to myself and making poor life choices.
Or, at the very least, I’m going to try.
- Which reminds me, if you follow me on Twitter then you may have noticed that you’re actually not following me anymore because I’ve deleted my account. I will be back in the New Year sometime, though – I just need a break, I’m not simplifying my life that much (not yet, anyway).
- This one is the hardest by far. My doctor assured me that I’m not prediabetic, but now that I know that prediabetes is a thing I’m worried I might be pre-prediabetic or something. I know I have kinda big feet but I need my toes for not falling over and stuff.