How many articles have you read recently asking how your resolutions are going? Well, this isn’t one of them, but there is a link in Lucy’s blog to the new year.
The merits and drawbacks of starting the new year with a bunch of well-intentioned resolutions are well documented. It’s usually about now that the ones that aren’t going to happen start to slip off the radar. Eat less cake, go to the gym, meditate, learn a new language…why do we wait until one date in the calendar arrives before making these commitments? On the other hand, the arrival of 1st January does provide the prompt for us to think about what we should start (or even stop) doing. The problem is that new year’s resolutions can be quite demotivating if they just lead us to realise we’ve failed to achieve something, maybe not for the first time.
However, I think the new year does provide a good opportunity to reflect. It’s easy to define a year as being awful because of several significant challenges that cropped up; I know I’ve done this and I’m not alone. The Queen described 1992 as an ‘annus horribilis’, it being the year that saw the break-up of two family marriages, one divorce and the fire at Windsor Castle.
For both me, and I expect the Queen, in our ‘anni horribiles’ there were plenty of positive happenings, but it’s not unusual for people to allow these to be overshadowed by the tough experiences. What the ending of one year and the beginning of another brings, I feel, is the opportunity to draw a line and start afresh with a positive outlook, unburdened by things that have been unpleasant or upsetting in the previous year.
I was lunching with a couple of friends the other day and we discovered that we all love January, which I think is unusual. A lot of people seem to see it as a month to just get through, with dismal, grey days and perhaps that feeling of obligation, thinking about the things we should be doing; our new year resolutions. Dry January always seems a good idea, but then someone suggests we should have a girls’ night, and well, suddenly it doesn’t sound as much fun if it’s dry. My lunch friends and I embrace January as a new start, a clean sheet, full of optimism that it’s going to be a great year and nothing from last year needs to be carried over. Yes, sometimes the days can be grey, but often they’re crisp and beautiful.
Don’t worry if you had new year’s resolutions that have slipped. Just know that you’ve had an opportunity to leave behind anything that might not have been great from the year that’s gone and you can now anticipate your year ahead with positivity. It’s going to be okay.