New year, new you?
Not this year sorry. Here’s my guide to why you should give new years resolutions the finger.
I’ve been giving it some thought in the previous few weeks about what changes I wanted to make and whether I’d do the whole new years resolution thing. I’ve read loads of stuff about how every day can be a new day and you don’t have to wait for a new year to make changes. In fact, I’ve noticed in the last couple of years, a lot of bloggers and wellbeing peeps professing the benefits of October being a time to plan and make changes as we move from Autumn into the new season and plan for the new year. But, I don’t know……I just think there’s something logical and organised about doing it at the start of the year. It makes sense for me.
Over the years I’ve probably been like 99% of the rest of the population with my resolutions. We’re talking exercise more, eat healthier, reduce my alcohol intake, meditate, have a kick ass morning routine to start the day right. Any of those sound familiar?? They’re all things we know are good for us in general, never mind, during menopause. The problem I have though is that I’m again, like 99% of the population in that I can’t sustain it and by the end of January I’m feeling like an epic failure.
This then sends me into a spiral of thinking what’s the point, I can’t do it. All my good intentions are out the window. I’m very much an all or nothing girl!
Does any of this resonate with you?
You may know, I live in France after moving from the UK 3 years ago. Last year Emmanuel Macron (the current French President) said no to dry January in France. I must admit I was quite shocked! It’s not often you hear politicians and people in power actively denouncing health initiatives. It seems though, that Emmanuel believes that wine is a fundamental part of a French person’s life and to deprive oneself of this would be a travesty. It got me thinking about a lot of things…….What happens when you deny yourself something? You only want it more right?? It makes you miserable because you’re actively depriving yourself of something that gives you pleasure.
With this in mind, go back to those resolutions I mentioned. Ask yourself:
🤔 Do you stick to them?
💩 Do you feel crappy when you fall off the resolution wagon?
💯 Even when you do manage to stick to them, is your life infinitely better for it?
💡 Are they things you truly feel you need or are they things you think you should be doing?
Yeah, we all know that if we can do all those things, we’d probably live to be 100 but you know what? There’s no guarantee of that. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow, you could get a disease or illness that doesn’t give a crap about how healthy a life you’ve led. And don’t get me started on your mental health. No one is immune to the shit life throws at us. Living a life you love and enjoy is surely the best self-care you can engage with? That way, when things aren’t going so well, you don’t have the added stress of feeling like a failure because you didn’t meditate for 20 minutes that morning or you ate a bag of crisps and mars bar for your lunch.
Social media and TV remind us on the reg that we should be doing all those healthy, positive things and if we’re not, we’re doomed to a life of health issues and less meaning and purpose.
I’m giving it all the finger again
One of our reasons for moving to France was to live a simpler and less stressful life. Whilst I’ve done that to a degree, I still find myself feeling like I should go for a run 4 times a week, I should only drink on the weekend or I should cut out chocolate and eat more fruit. I still ended the year feeling I’d let myself down. But hang on a minute……a scroll through the photos on my phone reminded me of what an epic year I’ve had despite the whole COVID shit show rumbling on. All the new experiences, learning a new language, making new friends, enjoying real quality time with family and friends, albeit in different ways. It’s been amazing, yet I forgot about that because I’d let myself down by not achieving all the goals I’d set. WHY AM I BEING SO HARD ON MYSELF????
2022 will be different and I invite you to join me. Let’s not make those resolutions. Let’s just go with the flow. See what life brings. If you have a day where you can fit in a run. Do it. If you want a bag of crisps and a mars bar for your lunch. Have it. Jeez, it’s not like you do it every day! If you fancy a glass of wine have it. I’m pretty sure there’ll be loads of times where you don’t fancy a glass of wine. It will balance out.
I’m pretty confident that placing no expectations will mean no guilt and just allow you to celebrate when you do have the wins instead of beating yourself up for things you didn’t do.
Let me know if this hits home for you and which camp you fall into. I know different things work for different people and I’m always keen to hear other perspectives.