OPINION // New Years Resolutions: A Guide
Keep it Simple and the Rest Will Follow
Welcome! Today I will be padding out that area where your psychologist, confidante, best friend and pile of women’s magazines exist by walking you through the anxiety-riddled gauntlet that is New Year’s Resolutions. By the time we’re finished a concise goal list will exist, making you one step closer to achieving your Perfect Self. *Image of healthily tanned, bikini-clad girl-next-door compliments this column in the magazine version*
What a load of fooey, right! The dawn of the New Year is supposed to bring with it optimistic expectations of the year ahead: adventures that will be had! Times that will be shared! Things that will be learned! Instead, columnists worldwide entrust January 1 as The Date to Decide Your Future, which results in most of us having an apocalyptic brain meltdown and devolving into an in-bed slob-fest encompassing Notting Hill on repeat and Doritos (just me?). This date is loaded for a reason – the start of the year is indicative of milestones and of fresh beginnings. That’s great, and self-reflection is good, but let’s cut the fantasy and let’s make New Year’s Resolutions we can keep and will in twelve months from now tick of our ‘To Do’ list with the proud smiles across our faces that derive only from rampant self-achievement.
One need bear in mind a couple of simple rules when setting successful New Year’s Resolutions. Firstly, keep the message simple. In an International Relations paper at university called ‘Conflict and Violence’ (just a light-hearted course-load filler obviously) I learnt that the most successful protests were those that had a definitive message; something that was around seven words long and could be integrated into a chant-and-clap situation. New Year’s Resolutions are the same! If you’re going to watch less T.V then instead of writing a schedule comparing how much television you watch now with how much you will watch in the coming year replete with day-by-day breakdown, simply set your resolution as Watch Less Television and turn the television off. You’re going to go to the gym? Great! Go To the Gym Four Times Per Week. Nail the basics and the training schedule will come. Look at how happy the people in these images are; it’s because they kept their goals simple. Although to be fair the dude reading the book – who looks really happy – probably should have made his resolution Read More, rather than Stay Happy, dontchathink?
Keep the resolutions simple and the list short. Writing a set of goals for which you have to quit full time employment and orphan your children to achieve does not a successful New Years Resolution list make. Face facts: unless you’re Angelina Jolie (who looked amazing at the Golden Globes, right, but more on that next week) you’re probably not going to Get Buff, Save the World, Direct a Film and Have Several Children in Twelve Months. One major goal – Quit Smoking, for example – and a few minor goals – Drink More Water, Walk More – seems, in my scientific opinion, to be an eloquent balance. Gawker has a set of minor – although specific, so watch it – goals that are worth pondering. Must add Hate Jennifer Aniston Less to my list.
Do you feel better? Have you shed the 2011 Resolutions Disaster and prepared to achieve in 2012? Same! Glad I could help, I’ll be here same time next week, and in the meantime please add ‘Read This Column’ to your New Years Resolution list, too, right at the top.
- Courtney Sanders