The ONE Thing That Will Definitely Scupper Your New Year’s Resolutions

How are you doing so far?  If you’re like me, you’ll have written a list of New Year’s resolutions that is about the same length and complexity as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Heck, short of wearing a hair shirt this year, you will be perfect dammit!

You will have sleek thighs, a spotless house and the inner calm of the Dalai Lama. No more excess consumption of sugar, carbs, things in packets or boxes, shouting at the kids, thinking anything vaguely ‘toxic’.  You get the drift.

Days will be filled with endless random acts of kindness.  You are going to be soooo good, every time a butterfly flaps its wings, the lakes of positive karma you are generating are going to make a yak smile in Nepal.

Except.  Except….

I can guarantee that there will be a flaw in your cunning plan to be nicer than Mary Berry whilst combining the intellectual vivacity of a young Germaine Greer with the mysterious allure of Claudia Winkelman’s fringe.

If you are not doing it for YOU – you’re on a high road to nowhere.

Yes, if you have added a resolution to your list to make someone else happy at the cost of your own bank balance, peace of mind and happiness, it’s all going to go pear-shaped pretty early on.

How many of us join gyms because our partners helpfully ‘suggest’ we’d look better if we lost a few pounds?

How many of us decide to read mind-numbing pseudo-scientific tomes and dreary best-sellers in an effort to make ourselves more interesting.

It’s about as sensible as learning all the 64 words for ‘the’ in Russian language when the nearest you’ll get to Moscow is a bottle of vodka.

There are, indisputably, resolutions we should undertake for the benefit of our health – drinking less, eating better, exercising more, but if we are doing any of these to seek someone else’s approval, now is not the time.

I think our motivation to make serious, long-lasting changes can take a real knock if we fail with our resolution at the first hurdle.  Better to wait until we are ready – at a time not dictated by the turn of the year, the addition of another digit to the man-made records of time.  Man-made – there’s the rub, to quote Shakespeare. Is anyone keeping a track of the change of years in the rest of our galaxy (apart from astronomers)?  No? Exactly.

You know, if you find yourself designing your life with the sole intention of pleasing others, the best New Year’s Resolution you could make, if you can’t quite kick the habit, is to please yourself.

If we are happy in ourselves, don’t you find that a lot of petty problems fall away? We don’t worry about the extra pounds, our weird laugh, our inability to read a wine-list or, in Ieuan’s case, a habit of adding strawberry jam to his chicken goujons.

We can learn a lot from our kids.  They embrace the moment and are glorious in their individuality – right up until a helpful adult suggests a few ‘changes’ they might like to make.  You can see where it all starts, can’t you?

So, this New Year’s Day, I hope you’ll junk the resolution list and instead write a list of things to do just for you.

And if they’re weird, odd or laugh-out-loud peculiar – good.

Trust me, the Galaxy Time Police are probably having today off too.

Happy New Year!


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  1. Bethany
    20 January, 2018 / 9:25 pm

    I’ve never done New Years resolutions (as they were made to be broken) instead I live each day as it comes ??

  2. Thena+Franssen
    7 January, 2018 / 9:12 pm

    I’m not a believer of resolutions but I have great respect for those that have them and set them! Cheers to a new year!

  3. WhatLauraLoves
    7 January, 2018 / 1:50 am

    If YOU don’t want to do anything in life you’ll never achieve it, you totally have to commit 100% xxx

  4. Alan+Moore
    6 January, 2018 / 2:23 pm

    I try and set realistic goals (or a single goal:) that make me feel a sense of achievement by the end of the year or at any time during the year. The biggest one I have for this year I moving to France. But I do agree with you, junk the list:)

  5. 5 January, 2018 / 1:51 pm

    I’ve decided not to make a list of resolutions this year, it feels like before the ink is even dry I’ve failed them all and then feel bad about it. Instead I’d like to focus on my fitness and health as I’m not 100% loving myself right now but I don’t have a specific goal in mind at the moment as it’s all so early on

  6. 4 January, 2018 / 8:21 pm

    I usually say I’m going to stop shopping and eating chocolate. But I’m no quitter, dammit! This year I’ve vowed to stop being a shouty mum. It’s a nasty little habit I’ve developed over the last couple of years, and I can’t bear to hear myself yelling anymore. I’m doing well so far. I’ve only raised my voice to my youngest slightly. And we’ve all laughed more than usual. I don’t expect it to be this easy for long, but I’m prepared to put in the effort for myself.

    Louise x

  7. Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes
    4 January, 2018 / 10:11 am

    I try not to make resolutions, but try to make improvements every day. I totally agree we should be more like children and embrace each moment! 🙂

  8. 3 January, 2018 / 11:08 pm

    A couple of years ago I abandoned New Years resolutions and elected instead to set myself goals. The change in mindset really helped me to make changes x

  9. Charli
    3 January, 2018 / 10:18 pm

    I’m really not one for new years resolutions. I don’t really see why we need a new year to take active steps in improving our lives? Why not take small steps every day? It seems far more sensible to me!

  10. Nayna Kanabar
    3 January, 2018 / 10:03 pm

    What a fab idea I could think of lots of lovely ideas for me but really who will help me deliver them. I never write new year resolutions as I never stick to them.

  11. 3 January, 2018 / 8:01 pm

    The only resolutions we’ve written on the blog are to have more family time and have fun – we think these are easily achievable, as we all want to do them for ourselves x

  12. 3 January, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    I have never set a new years resolution, I would only go out of my way to break it.

  13. Dannii
    3 January, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    I am a big fan of setting myself obtainable goals and always have been. It was how I was able to lose 7st.

  14. Ashleigh
    3 January, 2018 / 11:03 am

    I haven’t got many new years resolutions this year, but i would love to learn how to drive finally and buy my first car!

  15. 3 January, 2018 / 10:11 am

    I totally agree with this, you need to make resolutions for yourself and not for other people as you’ll be unlucky to succeed at them if you don’t x

  16. Vicky
    3 January, 2018 / 4:40 am

    I’ve usually set mental goals in the past but I’m writing them down this year for better visibility. I’ll be looking after 2 under 2 so need to get the routine machine going otherwise I’ll flap more than I currently do haha. I agree that goals should have a motivation and what better one than to make yourself happy!

  17. Hannah
    2 January, 2018 / 11:16 pm

    I never set myself New Years resolutions because then I never do them lol x

  18. 2 January, 2018 / 10:25 pm

    You are completely right, if we are just setting goals to please someone else then 9 times out of 10 things will not go to plan and your goals will go down the drain. Better to do something for yourself and because you want to.

  19. 2 January, 2018 / 9:32 pm

    This is so true. If you’re doing it to please someone else and your heart isn’t truly in it, you will never achieve it

  20. 2 January, 2018 / 6:54 pm

    I am deciding against new year resolutions this year and more aiming at achieving goals. I hope this works out better because I could never get to mid-January with a resolution!

  21. Starlight and Stories
    2 January, 2018 / 5:28 pm

    So true, our reasons behind our resolutions definitely have such a big impact on whether they succeed or fail.

  22. 2 January, 2018 / 3:44 pm

    I made some resolutions this year but they were all about me…my biggest two are to laugh more and to be kind. I totally understand where you’re coming from with this article though. If you’re not doing these things for yourself, ultimately you don’t have an investment in them working out.

  23. 2 January, 2018 / 2:57 pm

    This is so true my list of goals are things I want to achieve without me wanting to do them it would go to pot.

  24. 2 January, 2018 / 2:32 pm

    I don’t really do new years resolutions I’ve found I don’t keep them, I’m more likely to stick to something at another time of year when I know the time is right, rather than just because a year is ticking over to another.

  25. 2 January, 2018 / 9:28 am

    Love this! Completely agree, resolutions will only work if you make them for yourself and not to please others x

  26. 1 January, 2018 / 9:55 pm

    I’m not setting any resolutions but I will be setting some goals around my health and finances 🙂

  27. 1 January, 2018 / 9:25 pm

    I love this, resolutions have to be for yourself or they will never be successful. I don’t make them, I prefer not to put pressure on myself!

  28. 1 January, 2018 / 8:14 pm

    I started mine from 1st of December. So it’s for me can be done in my time and have a long-term benefit x

  29. 1 January, 2018 / 3:46 pm

    Yes! I have no goals that are not abut finding personal joy. I give up trying to make my mother in law think I am a good wife and mother. After 30 years, finally, I am letting her opinion not matter at all.

  30. Erin
    1 January, 2018 / 3:39 pm

    My new year’s resolution last year was to say ‘yes’ more, and I think it was general/vague enough to not feel like I was putting too much pressure on myself. I agree with junking the resolution list!

  31. Kayleigh
    1 January, 2018 / 3:23 pm

    LOVE THIS! There are lots of thing i’d love… to be thinner, to stop biting my nails, blah, blah, blah. BUT i know that those have been resolutions for the past god knows how many years and haven’t happened yet! This year my resolutions are more career focused, achievable things that i’m doing for ME and my life! x

  32. Sheri
    1 January, 2018 / 12:37 pm

    I dont do new year’s resolutions, what I do is plan short term and achievable goes for myself which I complete and add new ones throughout the year.

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