So Christmas is over. We return to a period during which we have to keep track of what day it is, where drinking before midday is once again frowned upon, and where keeping a large coniferous tree indoors would get you sectioned. The Christmas decorations and adverts disappear until next October, and the turkeys that made it through the holiday season breathe a gobble of relief.

As disappointing as this is you know that you must roll, bloated by the sheer weight of cheese and cooked meats, ever quicker towards 2016, where surely only greatness lies ahead of you. It’s today dammit. We now have a whole new year. An endless maze of opportunities, possibilities and, let’s face it, mistakes. So I implore you not to start the year with the same mistake that so many make. Do not, under any circumstances, make a New Year’s resolution. You will have so many opportunities this year to be disappointed in yourself, do not deliberately add another one to the list. You know you won’t go to the gym, or eat more healthily, or stop dancing belligerently in the middle of the room when drunk. We are all now at the age where our personalities and traits have been pretty much fully formed, and so if you have spent the last twenty-something years of your life being a sedentary, pot noodle fuelled mess, you really are unlikely to be able to shake yourself out of that lifestyle.

The chances are also that you made this exact same new year’s resolution last year too. And by the end of January those expensive trainers, Day-Glo jackets, and flashy water bottles will lay discarded at the bottom of your wardrobe, consigned to be used only on the odd occasion to the library because you know someone you fancy is there, and you want to look like you have a purpose.

Do not, under any circumstances, make a New Year’s resolution

Other, seemingly more achievable, resolutions are little better. In its infinite wisdom, Buzzfeed has of course furnished us with examples of resolutions we should have. Things like ‘making a point to send your best friends actual birthday cards’ and ‘have a standing friend date every week’ are so mundane that you will just forget to do them, while things like ‘planning a trip and making use of all your vacation time’ are a wonderful example of the media telling us to do things and simply forgetting that money actually exists as a barrier to this kind of Hollywood jet-set lifestyle. Not to mention that month in Morgan Stanley you have to do in summer or else you will never, ever, ever, ever get a job, which may somewhat hinder this trip to Cambodia.

All the pessimism aside though, the main problem with a lot of new year’s resolutions is that a lot of the examples we are given such as trying to give out compliments, or performing an act of kindness every week, are things which we should be doing anyway. Why do we need to rely on the changing of the year to suddenly realise all these ways in which we can be better people? Meanwhile all the ones like ‘be better off financially’ simply ignore the fact that this is easier said than done. Of course it’s a resolution, but everybody wants to ‘be better off financially.’ Everybody is trying to be healthier, richer, kinder and generally better. That is human nature. Some of us are more successful than others, but nobody goes around life seeking to be a disease-ridden, poverty-stricken miser. These aren’t resolutions, they’re just stating the facts of what people want to do and be, which we do with varying degrees of success. You may as well resolve to ‘keep being human’.

This is why resolutions are not only pointless, but dangerous. You are building your own prison by making them, and the more you have, the more difficult it will be to escape. Set yourself goals like this, and you will only finish 2016 like you did this year; full of self-loathing, guilt, and festive cheese varieties.

Illustration by: Dillon Yeh
Illustration by: Dillon Yeh

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.