So it's a new year, and once again, I didn't write down any resolutions. It's a silly thing, I know, but I feel as though there is more pressure to perform when you have this tangible list that you can refer to at any point. Plus, I find it demoralising not being able to scratch things off my list. Yes, it's not meant to be a To-Do list, but isn't that the best part of goals? Being able to say that you achieved them? When you have something like "be a better person" as a resolution, it is impossible for you to say that you have achieved that goal as it is an ongoing one that you will hopefully strive to fulfil throughout your life. So then "be a better person" stares at you all year long, from your fridge, out of the pages of your journal, on your mirror - wherever you decided to put it. And if you are anything like me, you'll just feel bad every time you see that damn resolution, worrying whether or not you are "being a better person" this year.
Last year I did exactly the same thing as this year, and avoided the New Year's resolutions concept like the plague. And did my year collapse into an ungoverned pile of chaos? No. In 2015, I ran further and more frequently, I ate better and I lost weight. I took on a position at work that I thought I'd never be able to handle and came out on top. I strengthened my relationships and tried to be more sociable, getting out of my comfort zone. I grew plants and ate them, spent time on the mountain and made a conscious effort to enjoy the outdoors more. And I loved, with my whole heart and without any prompt from a resolution needed.
For this of you who don't know, 17 January is Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day, as it is the most common date to give up on your resolutions. So if you're feeling like throwing in the towel already, don't feel guilty - you're not alone! Here are some statistics from the US (sorry, no SA stats are available) regarding last year's resolutions to give you some perspective. And remember, it's never too late to start working on yourself, regardless of if you've made a conscious list to do it or not. So don't give up!
The top 10 New Year's resolutions for 2015
1 Lose weight
2 Get organised
3 Spend less, save more
4 Enjoy life to the fullest
5 Stay fit and healthy
6 Learn something exciting
7 Quit smoking
8 Help others in their dreams
9 Fall in love
10 Spend more time with family
45% of people usually make New Year's resolutions
17% of people infrequently make New Year's resolutions
38% of people never make New Year's resolutions
8% of people achieved their resolutions
49% of people had infrequent success achieving their resolutions
24% of people never succeed and fail on their resolutions every year
39% of people in their 20s achieve their resolution each year
14% of people over 50 achieve their resolutions each year
*Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology