It’s January. It’s cold, windy and pretty miserable actually. Everyone has ran out of money, there are no more cheery Christmas songs, films or decorations, everyone is back at work and it feels like a lifetime till we’ll be putting on our flip flops and suntan lotion. However, there is something to look forward to. The bombardment of adverts for gym discounts, exercise equipment, juice diets, Dry January, nicotine patches and so on. Hands up how many of you made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, diet or radically change your lifestyle i.e. quit smoking, give up chocolate, etc.? Don’t be shy, hands up… hmm, just as I expected… nearly all of you.
Now I am not bashing on resolutions. If they actually work for you then I say go ahead and resolution away. But, for the most part, resolutions put unexpected pressure on people to change too much of themselves too quickly. I have made them before. Even more ridiculous ones if you can believe it. Like, by the end of this year I will be a famous actress living and working in Los Angeles. Yeah, I know, ridiculous!
I have started this year by working out like a man. Yup, my boyfriend has taken me under his wing (metaphorically of course, that boy is already in better shape than I could ever be… grrr) and is teaching me the ways of bench pressing, free weights and lower back workouts. Gone are the days of spending an hour on the cross trainer, treadmill and bike. I am feeling a difference (I have never been in so much pain!) and am eager to get to the gym (our rather drafty garage) when I pull into our driveway after work.
Yet, for me, this is not a resolution. Yes I have started this at the beginning of January but I only stopped working out last year due to a knee injury at the advice of my physiotherapist. I am going on holiday at the end of February, which is giving me a push to exercise more and eat less crap but this is not due to a resolution, this is due to the fact that many, many people are going to see me in a bikini and, like most of you out there, I wanna look good.
I guess my point is that if you are going to make a resolution each year, think about what would make you happy, not what you think you should resolve to give up/start doing. If you smoke, it would be great if you stopped. You would reduce your risk of getting a variety of different cancers, you would smell better, have whiter teeth and, probably, have more money in your pocket. However, if you are not ready to give up, promising from January onwards you are going to be a non-smoker, throwing away your last pack and sticking on a nicotine patch, I’m sorry to say, it won’t work. You have to be ready to do the hard work because that’s what resolutions are, hard work. If they were easy, why would we make them?
Try something small, manageable and, if all else fails, take your last cigarette out of the pack, light up and smoke it. Nobody asked or expected you to change so enjoy it, savour it and relax. After all, the next New Year is only 11 months away. You’ve got time.