The term 'resolutions' is a loaded one. Even saying it feels heavy and the pressure of having to keep them feels burdensome. Probably because the majority of us tend to focus on long-term, 'bigger' goals, we quickly lose momentum when the going gets tough and January lingers on. But we do keep making them. According to a new survey by LloydsPharmacy, a quarter of Irish people committed to a resolution in 2017 but nearly a third broke theirs within a month.
Yes, I want to get my entire body into shape in the next six months, but I know even by just putting the expansive time factor on it that I'm going to fail, and miserably at that. A solution to this sense of impending failure/doom is to just pare your goals back into bitesize tasks that you know you can actually achieve by next Friday, next week. Who really ever keeps the year-long goals they set themselves? (Kudos to those who write 'travel the world' on their lists and actually go and do this though). Too much can happen, too much can change over a prolonged period of time for this to be attainable, for the most part. Below are nine short-term achievable resolutions that in this writer's humble opinion, are worth keeping throughout 2018:
Stop comparing your real life to other people's online lives. Those filters are a reminder that you're seeing yourself and your friends' lives through rose-tinted, airbrushed glasses. We never wake up like that and as Lena Dunham will testify, no one's life is ever really that cool and glossy.
Don't tell yourself you're going to go cold turkey and forever give up binge-watching. You know it'll never happen. And you might think you're reclaiming your life but you're just denying yourself quality re-watch time via The Good Wife. Are you really living without this Netflix form of escapism in your life? In this era of Trump, we're going with no.
Buy a new diary and some post-its. And write one entry or good thing that happened to you in it every two weeks. Just two things every couple of weeks. No one ever has the time to actually 'keep a journal' so I tend to scribble random good things on post-its and stick them in my diary, reminding me that life isn't always as grim as 2016/17; it can be very bright. It'll help you take stock of the positive things that inevitably happen even when the times get tough and writing in small bursts on colourful paper can be very therapeutic and calming - especially if you're an anxious worrier.
Have more fun doing a hobby you actually enjoy at least once a month. We all have so much to do with work and schedules and dinner and drinks we invariably don't make after said work is done that why would you waste your precious time trudging to the gym if it's not doing anything for you? Do something that you feel is not time wasted. Knit. Watch movies. Or Netflix. If you say it's a hobby then make it so, just make sure you enjoy it.
Decide what kind of work desk person you are. Are you a messy desk person or a tidy desk person? Make the choice and you'll find it eases at least some of your office stress and anxiety like you've never known it to.
Eat your favourite comfort food once a week. Because life is too short. Be healthy and eat well, but also remember that no one looks back on their lives and remembers the time they denied themselves buttery toast for 10 months out of 12. Moderation and tasty foods are key to a happier life.
Open a new bank account and put just €20 a month in it. Then, come the next best friend's birthday or summer wedding you forgot you had to attend, you'll have a bit of extra cash to soften the gift buying-woes.
Take little steps of action. Have that meeting you've been dreading. Ditto that phone call. Cross small things off your to-do lists. It all means you are working towards doing things. Small things that down the line - in a week, a month or six - can make a big difference that it's now too early to see. This is how change happens.
Do something unexpected for yourself this January. Book your holidays before the first week of the year is out. Go on a wellness retreat to a part of Ireland you've never visited. Read a book you once thought you hated - you might be surprised at how your perception of it can change.