Friday, 9 January 2009

The elusive successful New Year’s resolution

I went to the gym yesterday. Holy cow, it was like there had been an invasion. Practically every machine was being used by sweat-glistened bodies in straining Lycra. And then I remembered – New Year’s resolutions.

January is seriously the worst time to go to the gym as all the newbies set out to move the newly developed Christmas dinner fat rolls. While it’s funny watching these people trying to figure out how to work the machines, it is, at the same time, very annoying having to queue for those machines – especially as everyone knows that come March, for the vast majority, that ill fitting Lycra will be shoved in the back of the wardrobe gathering dust until 31 December 2009.

I briefly toyed with the idea of a New Year’s resolution this year – eat healthier. Hmmm, so that’s going well – it lasted all of less than a week. It was press week, I needed a sugar rush and we were working late so it was only logical to get pizza delivered, and part of the deal was a free box of chocolate covered doughnuts. Needless to say, I’ve given up on the idea of a resolution for this year.

The thing is, they are such a scam. Firstly, in very rare cases do they actually succeed, so what’s the point? Secondly, it’s developed into a money making venture. Google “New Year’s resolution” and you get links to goal setting and life coaching websites, lists of the top 10 resolutions, and, most importantly, numerous sites suggesting the secret of success to keeping your resolutions – but only if you hand over your hard earned cash.

But think about it, you are set up to fail right from the outset. It’s winter, it’s cold, you probably already have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and that comfort food and couch is looking so much more inviting than a gym where you would have to bare your wobbly bits. It’s a no-brainer. Or, it’s a new year, there’s a credit crunch, job security is no longer guaranteed, budget is limited, work load has increased – where are those fags?

So, how do we fight this? Maybe we need to be focussing on smaller more easily achievable goals. Or maybe we should look at incremental improvement’s in our lives which will benefit others, like spend less time in the shower, clean the toilet more, clean up after myself, be nicer to others, be less selfish, get in touch with my friends more often, smile more, use less plastic bags. Of course, it’s always easier said than done. The only way you are going to change is to really want to change.

Or you could just do what one of my intelligent friends has done. His New Year’s resolution was to stop smoking – only he doesn’t smoke and has never smoked in his life. His theory? By default, he has already won the New Year’s resolution game.

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