In a world not so far away from our current routines and comfort, we envision significant change, relentless commitment and the curiosity of what will become of us all by the end of the next 365 days. It is where we find hope from the thought of a clean slate, where we can re-promise ourselves all of the vows, which we failed to keep that previous year. Some would consider the new year to be the ‘best yet’…Sure, I agree that the thought of a ‘new year, new me’ is exciting and lets be honest this looming commitment gave us the validation to over indulge through out the holidays, partnered with the self-justification that that extra slice of pudding was a good idea, because in a few short days “I’m never eating treats again”…Aaand now we’re here, in the new year but same old me is still here too with the same old Whittakers coconut chocolate cravings.
Studies have shown (and by studies I mean: my personal observation since January 1st of the drastic increase of gym-goers that have committed to the ‘fit and healthy new me’ resolution, all of which are head-to-toe in Lorna Jane & Nike….because you simply cannot exercise without a motivational slogan imprinted on your t-shirt to keep you going) that the end/start of year is active-wear and exercise-related department stores peak sales period, how coincidental. Alongside the hope and efforts that this year is ‘the year’ that ‘I’ll look and eat like a Victoria Secret model’ come into practice, what other re-used resolutions are we ‘definitely committing to this year’? Saving ¾ of your weekly paychecks, not investing an unhealthy amount of money into your social life?
Now that we’ve outlined the obvious, lets just be frank….you are going to say yes to fast food again, you will skip a day..maybe a week/month/year at the gym and you mightn’t see the end of the year with that 5-digit figure in your bank account that you had hoped for…but you know what, who the f*ck cares.
Don’t get me wrong, I am an advocate for picking a salad over that to-die-for-sounding burger because the regret isn’t worth it, I am exercise oriented and I do like that ‘Ahh, saved money’ feeling….but that’s not to say that burgers wont be had, gym wont be skipped and paychecks wont be blown. Because life happens, and it’s your god forsaken right to indulge.
The idealisation of these ‘things’ that we want to achieve is ultimately setting us up for failure…the commitment of not giving into our guilty pleasures makes life all that much more boring and tasteless. Are you going to sit there and tell me that if the situation presented itself that after a couple of weeks/months of avoiding those cinnamon doughnuts you wouldn’t order 2 with your friends (because cinannmon doughnuts should only ever be ordered in multiples of 2) rather, you’ll awkwardly shuffle to the tofu bar next door? No, I didn’t think so.
How about genuinely not feeling like exercising? That’s an emotion that I’m sure all of us are far too familiar with.. BUT it’s okay to say ‘look, just not today’ when your driving past the gym on your way home.
Are you forever (or for the next 52 weekends anyway) going to be a hermit and not include yourself in on last nights memories with your friends, where too many tequila shots were bought…just so you can sit at home and not enjoy that paycheck that you worked so damn hard for?
And at that very moment when you give in to any of these temptations, your resolutions are ruined, you’re filled with guilt and you may as well just keep eating cinnamon doughnuts, cancel your gym membership and impulse buy your bank account to $0 – well that’s the follow-up thought from your unsuccessful attempt at a ‘new you’. Am I right, or am I right?
Now, so we can avoid any form of guilt with any inevitable indulgences, let’s just rewind to when you were envisioning your better self in 2015 and replace those resolutions you originally had with these two:
So how do you know when to pull that ‘YOLO’ card or when to reluctantly decline indulgence? Put each of your 2015 decisions into a ‘every action has a reaction’ perspective and rationalise your verdict fairly. Say for instance, if you are equal parts thankful and spiteful to have been invited to a Max Brenner date with your girlfriends (which of course there is a 100% success rate of leaving with diabetes) then assess your past and future accordingly. Have you only just pulled that YOLO card in the McDonalds drive-thru? Are you actually going to be committed to the extended 1hr gym session you’ve promised yourself if you indulge this one last time? If you feel more guilt than excitement, then say no to the waffles and eat your salad.
On the contrary, if the stars have finally aligned and Ben & Jerry ice-cream is FINALLY now stocked in your local supermarket…what do you do? Oh, and it also just so happens that your gym attendance has been flawless this week. You also could have sworn reading in your gym contract ‘for every 5 consecutive days attended you can be guilt free of any 1x tub of icecream of your choice’ …your next decision without a second thought should be ‘which flavor?’.