Sunday, 28 December 2014

New Year, New You? Nah!

I can't believe Christmas is over for another year already! Just as I was getting settled into sweets and cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and long hours in front of the telly, it's been cruelly snatched from my grasp.  That, and I'm running out of Haribo.  I've enjoyed properly (and by "properly", I mean "drunkenly") catching up with my family, and with friends that I only tend to see once or twice a year because everyone's off on their own adventures in pastures new(er than where we went to school). Also, in my excitement, I've been trying to make use of every single thing I obtained in my Christmas loot from Santa.  Example:

Me, looking like a potato in a tea cosy and slippers after taking my beautiful, new, pink Asics and 1000-mile socks for their maiden jog... and then managing to lock myself out of the house in the freezing cold until A came to my rescue and made me coffee. Not sure why am making that face.  Can only assume is frozen in place.

So, now that Crimbo-time is pretty much over, I'm seeing the gradual drip-drip of New Year status updates filtering through my Facebook feed.  So far, they seem to fall into two opposing camps:

Camp 1 -  "As soon as the new year hits, I'm going to be a new person! All skinny and living in the gym.  Also, I will learn French and how to change colour like a chameleon.  I will be UNRECOGNISABLE!!  I shall be skinny, French and occasionally purple!"

Camp 2 - "Ugh, here come the New Year, New Me. Statuses!  They're never going to change, and I won't be able to park at the gym, because I am the boss of the Healthy Lifestyle Club, and there's no room for anyone else!"

I might be exaggerating a leedle bit, but that's the gist of what I've been reading.  Some people want to change everything about themselves, whilst others who have admirably managed to  create a regime they are content with scoff at those who want to follow in their footsteps and do the same.

Whilst I agree with Camp 2 that improvements to your way of life won't necessarily magically stick just because it's January, I don't see any harm in resolutions.  As long as you are prepared to be flexible with them, and don't admonish yourself and throw in the towel the second you inevitably stumble back into old habits. Everyone does it. Habits become habits because you repeat a behaviour until it becomes something you do more consistently than whatever you were doing before.

I believe that the end of the year is a great time to take stock of what you've achieved, and what you want to get out of the next 12 months.  I probably think this because I'm one of those cool kids who has kept a diary since I my early teens, which means I have an overwhelming compulsion to document every single thing I do.  It makes for terribly exciting reading.

It also means that I can look at old resolutions I've made myself over the years.  Let's see if we can spot a pattern!  I would offer you a prize for finding it, but I've eaten everything in my house that's not nailed down.  In no particular order:
  • Lose weight
  • Bite nails less
  • Be less shy/incompetent around other people
  • Spend less time sitting around
  • Watch less TV
  • Be more selfless
Etc etc.  Nothing revolutionary.  The trend?  Everything has to be less.  I think this is a common thing, especially in women.  We need to spend less time relaxing, less time thinking about ourselves and eat much, much less until we become tiny, waif-like molecules living off lettuce leaves and self judgement.  Hurrah! The year ahead is going to be spectacular! So much fun! 

We start on the assumption that we're not enough to begin with, which the logical bit of the brain (the one behind the bit that likes watching Netflix for eight hours straight and believes that after 3 pints, money isn't real) knows is... well, just bollocks, really.  Everything you achieve throughout the year is achieved by the person you already are, in the body you already have.  Here's some stuff that I'm proud of having done this year:
  1. Ran 3 half marathons.
  2. Got into a decent routine with the superhero runners at Run4All.
  3. Maintained a blog, which I enjoy doing and am proud of.
  4. Got a secure, not-too-shabby job that I'm comfortable in. 
  5. Tried out and loved Outcast CrossFit, and made more friends in the process.  Impressively strong and speedy friends!
Did I need to lose half my bodyweight and become an expert socialite to do any of those things?  Noop!  I still have all my "flaws" from before - I decide that I'm terrified of socialising at the most counterproductive of times (until I forget to be), I still have a weakness for anything edible that's terrible for my health, and my knee jerk reaction to anything negative is to berate myself for it.  But, overall, I'm pretty happy with my lot in life.  Everything I've done this year has come with perks - made me fitter, slightly more fulfilled and busier.  I'm just the same as I was before this year.  Just... more!  I'm Becky Plus!  Becky.2 ... etc.  I'm like an iPhone.  I'm essentially the same, just with the occasional software update.  Or a simile that's a bit more imaginative...

Point is, there's nothing wrong with taking stock of what you have and creating a plan to push for more things that will serve to add to your life experience.  Just don't forget that it's only you who can get you all that stuff - You, exactly as you are right now!

Hmm.  I didn't originally intend for this post to be all motivational-y.  Here's my favourite terrible joke to distract you from the sentimentality of it all:

Man goes into a farrier's.
Man: Hello, do you have any jobs going?
Farrier: Depends.  Have you ever shoed a horse?
Man:  No, but I said "fuck off" to a donkey once.

Haw haw.   

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