From just before New Years Eve to somewhere around the middle of January we’re bombarded with articles, emails, adverts, and all sorts of other messages that tell us that we should be trying to change. But what if that’s not what we want to do? That’s why we’re launching #HappyYouYear.
2016. It’s a brand new year. All of the problems we had in 2015 are immediately over and we’ve automatically been imbued with all of the willpower and ability to change our ways that seemed to be lacking in the previous twelve months.
Except, of course, that nothing’s actually changed. Between 11:59pm on December 31st and midnight on January 1st we don’t become new people. We’d like to, but the reality is that it’s very unlikely to happen. In the first few days of January we’re full of optimism and plans, we have goals, we’ve probably shelled out a lot of money to help us reach those goals, and there’s a lot of enthusiasm. Yay change!
But a couple of weeks down the line everything gets a bit much. It’s hard to keep dragging yourself out of bed to go to the gym. Your spending ban becomes a struggle. You stop making such an effort to get out more. We don’t know about you, but nine times out of ten we end January feeling like failures.
Sure, we might occasionally have a problem with oversleeping at the weekends. We definitely spend more time than strictly necessary standing in front of the fridge and scoffing cheese straight from the block. Our houses are a mess. But the thing is, we don’t actually want to change those things about ourselves. We kind of like them. Some glossy magazine that doesn’t know us isn’t really going to care if we still occasionally drink too much wine and forget to take our makeup off. So why have we spent so long trying to change who we are?
This year, we’re suggesting that everybody should just focus on what makes them happy. That should be our aim for the year. It’ll be different for everybody, and our needs will no doubt shift over time. What makes us happy in January might not do it for us when it gets to September, and that’s totally fine. If we had the concrete aim of going running every day in 2016 we might start to wish we’d picked something different, or hadn’t been so strict with ourselves, after a couple of months. If our only aim is to focus on our happiness we’ll be free to change what we do as and when we need to. Life is stressful enough without holding ourselves to super-strict standards all the time.
If strict New Years Resolutions are something that works for you, that’s fantastic. Frankly, we’re a little bit in awe of you and your iron willpower. All we’re doing is suggesting an alternative, and one that puts the ball firmly in your court. What will make you happy today? Do that. We’ll worry about next week, or next month, or next year when it gets here.