Did you make a New Year’s resolution for 2020? Did you kick the cigarette habit? Finally start training for the marathon you’ve always talked about? What about Veganuary? Dry January, perhaps?
Now it’s February, it’s time to ask, ‘Did you stick to it?’
If not, you’re not alone. Chances are vegan wannabes are now chomping on a steak, dry january got rather soggy and the Marlboro man is still rather popular among the quitters. According to a US study, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail.
Last year I was determined to learn Spanish. I also made a pact to apply eye cream twice daily. I’m a full time mum of three, and deep down I knew that finding time to learn a language would be impossible. So my rational side made a more realistic pledge to treat my under eye wrinkles.
Fast forward to 2020 and mi espanol needs even more attention than my under eye circles. Sure, I speak Spanish, but I’m not as fluent as I’d hoped. I never attended a class, picked up an exercise book or dedicated time to really learning the lingo (unless drinking Chilean wine while watching hispanic series on Netflix counts?)
But it’s not all bad. Perhaps the only thing that’s bad is the resolution itself?
In fact, optimism can be a bad thing. Reach for the stars, they say. But what happens when we miss and fall with a dull thud on our backsides? It’s hard not to feel deflated, especially when we compare ourselves to others and are bombarded with motivational propaganda on a daily basis.
One magazine I read after New Year was all about happiness, inner contentment and body positivity. It was all about accepting ourselves… until page 12 where it was back to the importance of 5am wake ups and magnesium drinks for breakfast.
I’m a confident, lucky and happy woman. And like many, I strive to be a better person. I have high aspirations, but then life gets in the way.
And that’s OK. I’m not an Nobel scientist, a pulitzer worthy journalist or a role model mother.
But hey, as research now shows, being an average parent is also OK. Pushy ‘snow plough’ parents can cause havoc on their kids it seems. Studies show that children from average parents do just as well as those from really dedicated parents who invest more heavily in their families. One parenting author I rather like the sound of says we should just all ‘calm down and trust [ourselves]’.
I reckon the same applies to life in general. Please can we all just calm down?
I’m all for a healthier life. I detest cigarettes. But for those of us who are not en route to death, let’s not get too upset when life takes an unexpected swivel. Let’s give the magnesium drinks a rest and raise a glass to life’s wobbles.
This year I’m not making a resolution. I’m still trying to be a better person, but I’m also trying to be less disappointed in myself. As I’m learning, it’s OK to be just OK.