I believe in setting goals. (Obviously, or there is no way I could write this blog.)
However, goals are different from New Year’s resolutions. Liz’s post at the beginning of the year about why New Year’s resolutions are largely stupid made me think. There was certainly a time when I thought a new year would be a good time for change, but I’ve definitely stopped believing in the significance of midnight on the 31st of December. There is a reason I give myself a whole year to achieve a few goals!
It’s because the year begins in January. January is a horrible month, a blot on the calendar; a dark, dreary time of the year, when the Christmas lights have been put away and there are no holidays to look forward to. (Understand that I’m speaking completely from my perspective – obviously – of seasons and holidays. You Aussies with your summertime have no excuses.)
These ‘January sucks’ posts seem to be becoming an annual event. Granted, this year’s hasn’t been truly horrendous, despite the fact that my annual Christmas illness came late and arrived this week, leading to my first two sick days from work; and despite the fact that my blog posts have been seriously sparse from a complete lack of creativity. I am just bad at January. I am gobsmacked at the people who manage even two weeks of a New Year’s resolution before packing it in, because goodness knows I’ve never managed any self-improvement that way.
I’m just back from an hour at the gym, which doesn’t sound too bad. Or it sounds a bit sad, because it’s a Friday night, but anyway! It doesn’t sound too bad until I tell you that’s the first time I’ve been to the gym since the fourth of January. Each of my two whole visits this year has therefore cost an average of £10. £10! I bought two cocktails for that last night! I saw a show for that last night! I could buy a book, or ten bars of chocolate! (Although that would add weight to the argument for the gym, never mind me.)
I know this will get better; I was actually quite good at going to the gym last year. It’s just January. There are so many better times of the year to begin things: spring; for me, my birthday in the summer; autumn, when I still get that start-of-the-school-year feeling. Basically, any time but now.
This January, I’m already in a marginally better place than last year when it comes to the traditional resolutions: eat better, exercise more, save money, blah blah blah. That’s only because I’ve been in my job for a year, I’m surrounded by colleagues with salads at lunch (even if I still tend to finish a ‘sharing’ bar of chocolate by 10 a.m.) and my housemate was desperate to join the gym and got it cheaper on a joint membership. Quite frankly, all of last year’s ‘self-improvement’ was hugely accidental.
To those of you who are sticking to your resolutions: well done, keep going, and good luck with them. Me, I’ll be spending this evening in a mini hibernation, binge-watching Once Upon a Time and eating Creme Eggs.