I think anyone over the age of twenty would have to completely disagree with Willow Smith. Time does exist. We know it exists because it’s been screwing us around for the past however many years, making us believe that it’s going to be there when we’ve finished the Netflix marathon, or after the ‘quick’ Tumblr browse that lasts for all of eternity and then some, or after the super important crafting experiment that basically consists of gluing fluffy stuff to shiny stuff and covering the whole thing in ALL THE GLITTER!!! But time, being the fickle bitch that it is, has gone off with its cooler, thinner friends by that point, to do all the things you said you’d do once you could be bothered. Lesson one billion and fifty four: You will never be bothered. Excited? Yes. Completely kitted out and poor? Totally. But bothered? Next week, maybe.
And that’s the beauty of New Year’s resolutions. They are not happening right now when you want to be doing something much more fun involving many more calories. But they creep up on you. Time roars forward, because it totally exists, and as well as being older, greyer, fatter, wrinklier and a whole lot grumpier, you are also being shamed by your own ego. Remember when you said you were going to do yoga every day? Remember when you were going to learn to play the drums and start a punk band? How’s that novel you’ve been working on, huh? It was all well and good when it was in the future, because it was a beautiful, fictional dream. But once it’s here and it’s real and it’s not getting done, that’s when life starts to suck.
I’m not saying don’t make resolutions. No way am I saying that. Self-improvement is my guilty pleasure. I absorb self-help books and affirmations with all the smug joy of Gwyneth Paltrow, but without the awesome body and bazillions in the bank. I just think that you have to ease into bettering yourself. The thing is, we’ve all got this image of who we could be in our heads. Some are achievable and some aren’t. To figure out which camp you fall into, I’ve created a quiz. Yay! Quiz!!! Ok, so here we go…
Q1. When you imagine future you, does he/she:
- Look like you, but thinner/happier/healthier/chiller/richer/etc.?
- Look like Adriana Lima/Vin Diesel/Taylor Swift/Ryan Gosling?
Q2. Think about your goals for a second. Are they:
- So achievable you’re thinking of asking your gran if she wants to get bigger guns too?
- So terrifying that they would make The Rock burst into tears?
Q3. Have you thought about the fact that you might fail?
- Yeah, but it’s cool. You’re not going to beat yourself up. You’ll just get back on the horse.
- Fail? Me? Pfft. You’re cray cray, Holmes.
Q4. Why are you even doing this anyway, when you could be drinking ice-cream in bed for 365 days straight?
- Because I want to be healthier/calmer/more successful/happier/more well-rounded.
- Because I think it’ll help me score.
It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that if you’re hanging out on the b side of the fence, you’re doing it wrong. For resolutions to work out, they need to be realistic, achievable and for the right reasons. You also need to have a back-up plan, because life happens at the most inconvenient times, but if you’re ready for it, you’ll be fine. People are amazing and they do incredible stuff all the time, but in order to be amazing, you need to bullet-proof yourself, or you’ll go down with the first hit.
There’s a lot of stuff that I intended to do this year that didn’t get done, because all I had was the intention without the solid plan in place. I was totally going to do a zip line. This was definitely happening. Absolutely. But it was too cold, then life was too busy, then the place I was planning on was closed. It’s impressive how awesome we are at making excuses. The truth is, I was scared. Really scared. The idea of doing a zip line? Yes. Hell to the yes. I am so into that. Once I’ve done a zip line, I can do anything. I will collect my Wonder Woman certificate and cape and get on with my life. That’s the dream anyway. In real life I have a fear of heights so crippling that I climb two steps of a ladder and Freak. OUT. So it didn’t happen. Am I sticking it on next year’s list? Duh. Will it happen? Hopefully. I’ve taken baby steps to get over my fears, so I will cross things. But if it doesn’t, I won’t beat myself up.
This year I got a lot done, and that is because I didn’t make resolutions. I made goals. Clear, concrete, black and white goals. Here is my list for you to see how I did:
Because I’m me, my eyes are drawn to the big blank spaces that should be filled by ticks. But that’s bogus, because come on; I’ve done well. I’ve done a lot. A year is a long, short time. While you’re in it, it’s like wading through treacle. We wish away the minutes and the hours to get to other days. We pine for holidays and birthdays and whatevers. But the year seems to go by so much faster than the days do. Before you know it, you’re another year older and you’ve thrown it all away with wishing. And that’s how you know you’re old, because you’ve figured out that it can’t be controlled, and you start to realise that you want to hold onto every minute, before the minutes add up and it’s over. So don’t make resolutions, make goals. Try your best to achieve them, and if you fall down, get up, because the time goes whether you waste it or use it, and you can do more with less than you think.