January is meant to be a time of fresh, new beginnings and looking forward to all the amazing things the future will bring.
So why does it all feel a bit 'same old, same old' and almost like you are always setting yourself up to fail at something within the first few weeks?
Maybe, because it is and because you kind of are. I mean, there are only so many gym memberships a person can sign up for in January and cancel by mid February before they start to get sick of the routine.
Too many people make public plans for their coming year and then struggle to stick to them under the pressure of their friends and families' watchful eyes, and occasionally, scrutiny.
People are sometimes more likely to notice all the things you're doing wrong with your new resolution than all the things you're doing right.
This is not helpful and could cause you to lose confidence and give up on your resolution sooner.
This is why I've stopped making public New Year resolutions, I never manage to stick to them under pressure.
I prefer to make my life-style changes pretty stealthily, almost in secret, only mentioning them to one or two close friends.
This gives me time to make them part of my normal daily routine before I'm subjected to someone else's opinion.
I've realised that by doing this I'm less likely to quit and I actually manage to achieve a whole lot more before people even noticed anything has changed.
"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do - Walter Bagehot"
Rather than making the generic New Year resolutions of joining a gym, spending less money on clothes or being a better person (how very nondescript and therefore hard to achieve), pick one that you feel passionate about and make this your year long resolution.
Focus all your efforts into something inspirational, new and exciting and let the everyday things like promising to go to the gym just fall into place as a sideline project.
A good long term goal will help to inspire you in other areas of your life too, it creates a sort of ripple effect. Make it fun, new and most of all make it something that helps you grow as a person.
Here are my five New Year resolutions.
Do Something Selfless
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop"
If it doesn't make you happy then don't be afraid to reassess whether it still has a place in your life.
Be it a job, friendship, hobby or any other obligation or routine you have become accustomed to but no longer enjoy.
Figure out what would make you happy/happier and then either alter your current situation to make it fit this or call it a day and do something else.
If you hate your job then take steps this year to make a move into the kind of job you want to wake up and go to on a Monday morning.
Alternatively, if it is a friendship which is bringing you down then feel free to consider whether it is time to either clear the air or to take a step back and allow some breathing space.
It is perfectly acceptable to give up on things which no longer make you happy. It shouldn't be classed as a failure, learning to recognise what is negative in your life and then eliminating it is healthy.
Forgive And Forget
"Forgiveness is not something we always do for other people. Sometimes we do it for ourselves to get well and move on - Kemmy Nola"