An Ode To Failure: The New Year’s Resolutions I Have Never Kept

OR: Bollocks to improving myself in 2013. This year I’m just going to try to not get myself in any more trouble than I’m already in. And go to Berlin.
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Publish date:
January 1, 2013
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new year, new year's resolutions, changes, 2012, 2013

I was going to write a piece about my New Year’s Resolutions for 2013. Then I made a list of them, and realised that from the wildly unrealistic to the wildly vacuous, none of them were going to happen. They also made me sound like a twat.

Not that it matters what they are, I haven't kept a New Year’s resolution in my life. Given that I'm hugely suggestible and have notoriously shit staying power for anything, it’s not surprising. But I don’t do myself any favours.

My resolutions are always things I’m never, ever going to stick to. Most of them don’t get beyond the starting block, or I find a way to actively sabotage them by the fifth of the month, and then I feel like a failure.

Not because I actually am a failure (this is all subjective, but I’m certainly not, by most people’s standards, a total fuck up, and I know this really), but by trying to smooth out some of the traits that make me who I am, I’m fighting a loosing battle, and setting myself up for a fall.

Anyway, who wants to be perfect? Bet it’s dead boring.

So, instead, I’m going to embrace my inability to see anything through. Here are some of the New Year’s resolutions I’ve never kept, and never will:

Pay off my credit cards/overdraft/loanThis (or a variation on this) has been my New Year’s resolution every year since I was about 20. Have I done it yet? Clearly not. Instead, I’m going to set myself the more realistic target of paying off my big credit card balance this year, and not accrue any more debt in the mean time. In fact this is my basic ethos for everything at the moment – don’t get myself in any more trouble than I’m already in.

Run a marathonHa ha – are you kidding? I make myself laugh sometimes. I like running. A bit, Within reason. Until it starts to hurt. However, there’s not a cat in hell’s chance I have the single-minded determination to put my body through the training and pain involved in a 26 mile run. I could do a 10k, maybe a half marathon, at a push, if I suddenly got a lot of unexpected spare time. But a whole marathon? Really? Have I met me?

Write a novelSee above re: a marathon. I’ve written a few short stories. My undergraduate dissertation was 10,000 words, but I really don’t think I’ve got the sticking power to write a book. Every year I set this as one of my new-year’s resolutions and every year, I never get beyond a shadow of an idea, that I’ve discounted as ridiculous by mid February. I then hate myself from March-September, at which point I toy with the idea of joining some sort of writing group. Then the whole cycle of failure and self-loathing starts again in January.

Give up dairy, wheat, caffeine and booze as part of a month-long January detox.Every year I decide that I’m going to cut out everything bad for me for one month only, and every year I feel spectacularly off the wagon after about five days. This year I’ve been really vocal about my desire to give up booze for the whole of January. Mainly because the more vocal I am about it, the harder it will be for me to give up.

But I’ve learnt the hard way that if I try and take out everything fun at once (yes, cheese is ‘fun,’ what of it?) then I’m setting myself up for a fail. I just don’t have the will power.

Buy the perfect summer wardrobe by the end of MayThis is where my New Year’s resolutions become at odds with each other. How am I meant to pay off my credit cards when I’m off buying perfectly coordinated and stylish spring/summer wardrobes in the middle of April?

Organise my wardrobe so that everything it neat and easily accessible, and keep it that way forever.This tends to link into the previous resolution. When I picture myself with my perfect selection of neat separates, which mix match with each other to create a plethora of chic and stylish outfits, they’re all neatly racked up in my wardrobe.

The reality is this:

Could I reorganise my wardrobe so it better represents the collected, sophisticated woman I one day hope to become? Probably. If I could be arsed. Would it stay that way for more than three days? What do you think?

Things I might actually do in 2013:

Get hardwood flooring in my flat.While I am very bad with money, my mother is very good with money. She has been making me over pay on some money I owe her, as a way of forcing me to save something. I will be using this to buy myself a piece of the middle class dream.

Go to BerlinI’ve always fancied it, and Alisande’s great piece about visiting made me feel like even more of a moron for never managing it. I really think this is one resolution worth keeping.

Turn 30There’s not a huge amount I can do to stop this one, but I’m excited about it, nonetheless. The minute I turn 30 I’m going to be a proper grown up who remembers to submit her own meter readings and doesn’t get told off my Lambeth Council for not recycling correctly.

Touch my toesOk this is a bit of an anomaly. Becoming able to touch my toes has been on my New Year’s Resolutions list since the dawn of time. I’ve never been able to do it, or even get close. But after doing a lot of Pilates for my sore back, I’ve actually managed to get from lower knee to mid shin in 2012. I reckon with a lot more stretching I might be able to touch those toes before December 2013. Never let it be said that I don’t think big.

Which resolutions do you always set yourself up never keep? What are your new-year’s resolutions for 2013? Any tips for hard-wood floors? Let me know below or on Twitter @rebecca_hol.