It's January and therefore we are likely to be filled with great hope for the year ahead, as well as more sludge inside our colon and a further layer of cholesterol within our pipes. I am not immune from such feelings.
If anyone were to ask me, I would declare that I don't bother with New Year's Resolutions any more; they are somehow for lesser mortals. I not only know that they are mainly broken by the end of January, but setting oneself up for failure is not a thing to bring happiness or fulfilment. But in a secret place within me is a person quietly thinking This Year (Rodney) Everything Will Be Different.
I have a planner for my kitchen wall and on this not only am I going to put things happening this week, but plan meals ahead (ha, ha,ha!). I'm also going to slot in what work I'm going to do in order to save me slipping into sitting and chatting and then at 3.27 pm thinking, "Shit, I've got to go and get the girls from school - now, where on EARTH did that day go?"
Since the new year I've been doing some research on resolutions, goal planning and time management (note, instead of actually doing the feckin things I wanted to achieve) and I've found the ultimate method. Apparently you mustn't tell anyone your resolution.
The thing with this is that if you tell people your goals, they usually congratulate you and nod appreciatively as if you've already DONE the thing you're planning to do (although in my world people tend to raise an eyebrow and say, "Yeah, course you are, Lorraine" before returning to whatever they were doing before). This praise gives you a feeling of well-being that makes you feel as if you've pretty much done the thing already and therefore there's no real need to make any effort - you've already had the buzz, so you can return to your custard slice / sofa and feel good about your achievements.
This resonated with me. In my twenties when all around me were talking about diets, I used to occasionally think I should do one, and the seams in my jeans would back me up. I would decide that those difficult ones that involved giving things up were not for me, and nor were ones that were too strict - I liked my beer and it's hard to find any diet plan that allows for ten pints of lager and lime followed by eight slices of toast of an evening.
Instead I would decide to do it scientifically. I would haul the trusty calorie counter off the shelf and work out how many calories I would burn off in the days ahead. I would say to my friend that I was probably fitter than the average woman and therefore I could allow myself a little more (lager). I would assume that I would probably run up and downstairs two hundred times in the day, so that meant the toast was accounted for too. By the end of the chat, I would have a coloured chart in front of me that demonstrated I should actually be eating more than I was currently eating. The kettle would go back on and I'd finish the evening feeling very pleased with myself for having achieved my goal weight.
Although this is a shit way to go about anything, it was probably as successful as anyone else's diet and fitness regime and a lot more comfortable.
So what about this year? My plan is to quietly fill in my weekly planner, not gloating to anyone that I've worked out we're going to have sausages for tea a week Friday and that on Thursday morning, my coloured-in Prime-Minister-Diary detailed chart says that I shall mostly be filing whilst considering Chapter Four's dilemma.
Anyone up for taking bets on what will really be happening?
Check out TED Talks http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=a5A7hdR7q7g and then you won't have to actually DO anything as listening to these makes you a better person already!
If you liked this blog, why not buy the books?