Saturday, January 1, 2011

Turn over a new leaf ? Not today, thank you

Just ready for the turning...

So Christmas and its excesses have come and gone and many of us are left wondering what now? Lots of us will start the new year with a renewed sense of vigour, a determination to turn over a new leaf. We will see this as an opportunity to shed our old skin and emerge thinner, happier, less vice-driven butterflies. Whilst this is lovely in theory the reality is that January is a terrible time to try and make a change.

As everyone knows January is one of the, if not the most, miserable month. It’s cold, dreary, only the rubbish chocolates are left in the tin, you’re worn out from the niceties of the season and you’re sick and tired of the taste of antacid. The house looks bare because you’ve now taken down the lights and decorations that made it look pretty and by now you’ve probably thrown away or recycled all those cards sending little scraps of love to you. So what does that leave you with? Guilt of over eating, poor chocolate selection, a feeling of emptiness, a sense of nothing to look forward to. Do you really want to add to all this a task that frankly is going to make you even more miserable? What happens come the 15th, or 23rd or even the 28th January when your resolve slips and boom – add to your current cacophony of negative emotions: failure.

That’s not to say that you definitely will fail. But generally if you’re not ready to make a change and you’re actually just doing it because well “it’s the done thing”, it’s probably not the best idea you’ve ever had.  I know that people will say new year, new start. Yes ok there’s logic in that, but there are 364 other days of the year in which your new year can begin, let’s not get too caught up in the Gregorian calendar now.

If, despite my arguments for why this isn’t the best time to make a change, you are still intent on making one, well done. Your determination has managed to overcome the first hurdle: opposition. The rest of you, don’t worry, see above as to why now isn’t the right time for you to turn over that new leaf after all. But what will your resolutions be? One year a friend decided on several resolutions one of which was to be more selfish, well each to their own!

Why not try something small this year, but something that will make a big impact? Make a resolution to help out at a local community centre or homeless shelter for a couple of hours a week. If you have commitments at home no problem, you could become a UN online volunteer. If volunteering doesn't seem like your kind of thing, fundraising is an excellent way to support causes you feel strongly about. Not only do you get to raise money for a worthy cause but you can also combine it with your hobbies - running, cycling, swimming or do something dare-devil that you mightn't have tried before - sky diving, bungee jumping, swimming with sharks. Or if you don't fancy breaking a sweat/ inducing a heart attack you could sponsor a child to ensure that they get a basic education, a clean water project or pledge to give x amount to charity each month.

Maybe this new year your resolution won't just be about improving your life but also helping to better someone else's too, perhaps even saving it. Surely that's much better than laying of the choccie biscuits for a while?


  1. LOVED this post! five stars.

    happy new year to you :D

  2. nice thought there. I get the picture, here I am on the third day of 2011 with flu and i feel like ripping off January's to do list :p

    Well, the fact I didn't have any 2010 resolution and 2010 ended up very awesome to me.I do agree when you talk about self improvement, it should happen intuitively, and we all know we can't schedule intuition, it can happen anytime and anywhere. It would be more realistic. At least that is how I feel :)

    Happy new year!

  3. @Sugarmouse, thanks so much for your comment. What a lovely way to kick off the new year!

    @Scholastica Amel, I agree. Making a change should be a decision that you come to of your own accord, not because you feel pressured by the calendar. Still, good luck with your 2011 to do list :)