10 New Year's Resolutions We Never Stick To
As one year disappears into memory and another one welcomes us with open arms, it’s time for New Year’s Resolutions. It’s a tradition that’s been with us for over 4,000 years, dating back to when the Babylonians made promises to the gods in the belief that if they kept their word, the gods would look favourably on them for the year ahead. So every year, we pick an aspect of our lives that we think we could or should do better and set out with the hope that January 1st will be that magical date when everything changes.
Personally, my ambitions don’t extend as far as the gods. They’re on a much smaller scale so why is it such a struggle to stick to them? Every year I’m sure the same things pop into everyone’s head but this year – just like every other year – I’m determined to make one of them happen.
But which one of these will finally make it?
- Run a 10k.
If you’d asked me a few years ago this would have been a marathon – I mean if a man dressed as a dustbin can run 26 miles through the streets of London, then surely I can – but as the years drift by so my ambition reduces. I’ve given this a go before but January is quite simply a terrible month to start running. It’s too cold, too wet and by the time I’ve finished work, too dark – although the cover of darkness can save my embarrassment of being overtaken by pedestrians.
Chance of success 3/10
2. Hit my daily steps target.
According to many health providers, 10,000 steps is the target I should be looking for. Now I don’t know who came up with that number but clearly they must have added an extra zero by mistake. I went for a 45 minute, post-Boxing Day walk and believe me, I wasn’t hanging around. Whilst others dawdled and admired the scenery, we marched past as if on a mission only to record 4km, which I thought sounded okay, and a measly 5000 steps. When I looked back through my phone it was the most steps I’d done in over 2 weeks. How can anyone possibly find one and a half spare hours to go walking every day? No wonder everyone I know has recently invested in a dog – it’s not the dog they want, it’s the walking that it demands.
Chance of success 4/10
3. Eat more healthily.
As the rest of the world has been sauntering down the free-from aisles with a healthy glow, I’ve remained stuck in my dietary ways. I personally think I have a good diet – everything in moderation and a little bit of everything – but I wonder whether I’m missing out. Perhaps I should be eating less meat, although the smell of a bacon sandwich usually swats that idea. Maybe there’s a new superfood I should be indulging in but having tried goji-berries and kale within the last few months it’s difficult to see the benefit being worth the pain. I’ve thought about improving breakfast with a hearty bowl of porridge but in the morning I just don’t have the patience to stir something for what seems like an eternity – I mean 20-25 minutes as recommended on the pack is an evening meal, not breakfast. I’ve given it a go in the microwave but it just keeps bubbling over onto the glass plate so I end up cutting it short and chewing on partially cooked oats. And it’s only when it comes to washing up, that I realise I’ve eaten the food equivalent of glue. Having said that, I’m convinced this is an easier one to manage and come January 1st I’ll be armed with a full fruit bowl and salad drawer
Chance of success 7/10
4. Lose weight.
The festive period can sometimes present a challenge to my belt strap. I never intend it to happen but I have a weakness for Christmas dinner and I’ve come to realise that resistance is futile. There are simply too many temptations on offer – turkey & cranberry, roast potatoes, chipolatas, stuffing, bread sauce, sprouts with bacon bits – the list goes on and it’s all washed down with a glass or two of something sleepy making. It’s not big and it’s not clever to over-indulge but I know that I can deal with the consequences with a New Year Resolution – I say hopefully.
Chance of success 6/10
5. Dry January.
I wouldn’t classify myself as a big drinker and usually like to keep it to weekends only, but the unit count does tend to creep up during December. I know it would be good for my health to give it a complete break for a month, with some articles even telling me it will give long lasting benefits. As someone who went a full year without touching a drop, I don’t think that giving up for a month would be too difficult, but when someone else pops the cork on that second weekend, I know that little voice in my head will start it’s whispering. One drink won’t do any harm. Who am I doing it for anyway. You only live once….
Chance of success 5/10
6. Read a book before going to sleep instead of watching TV.
Whenever I go on holiday, which in these Covid-ridden times seems like a very long time ago, or have few days off, I genuinely enjoy reading a book. And it feels like an achievement and slightly more worthy that flicking through the channels searching for something I don’t really want to watch. But as soon as I get back into the working world, my reading stamina abandons ship. Reading the same page about 20 times, with eyelids desperate to meet in the middle, just doesn’t do it for me. At that rate it would take me a full 12 months to read just one book. Maybe it’s like running and I need to stick with it and build up some sort of reading fitness – perseverance is maybe what’s needed.
Chance of success 8/10
7. Learn a foreign language.
I’m lucky to have been born and educated in a country with a language that dominates the world. It’s not something I can take any credit for but I have to admit to feeling slightly spoilt and embarrassed when people from other countries make all the effort to speak to me in English and I do so little in return. With all the apps around it should be easy to get further than hello, please, thank you and chicken but I never seem to get there. Perhaps now is the time to grasp Spanish or Portuguese ready for my next visit – hopefully in the summer.
Chance of success 5/10
8. Learn to play the guitar or piano.
I’ve always been impressed with anyone who can play an instrument and I can only imagine what it would be like to play like a maestro, just because you can. When they do it all looks effortlessly easy and I convince myself it’s all a matter of practice and nothing I couldn’t crack within a few weeks. That’s before I realise they don’t make musical instruments for the hard of hearing and fat fingered amongst us – add to the fact that I don’t actually own an instrument and this one seems a distant prospect.
Chance of success 2/10
9. Throw out all the old clothes that I no longer wear.
By modern standards, I’m probably not a big buyer of clothes but one thing is for certain, every year I gain more than I lose. And every year the dusty pile of clothes that are unlikely to ever be worn again grows slightly taller. I know it’s time for drastic action but it’s so difficult to choose between which ones to save and which to say goodbye to. They all have a story to tell, a trip down memory lane. I admit that many haven’t been in fashion for decades, and in fact it’s highly likely that some weren’t in fashion even when I bought them, but I’m always hopeful that might change in the decades to come. If they had holes in them or were worn out then no problem but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them – probably because they’ve never been worn – and what’s worse is I’ll go through the same thing next year with an even taller pile.
Chance of success 6/10
10. De-clutter the house.
Over the years we have gathered a huge amount of stuff. Stuff that will never be used again and stuff that takes up more and more space every year. I know that now our children have passed the legal drinking age, it’s unlikely they’ll use the children’s toys we’ve had bagged up in the loft for years, but the fact is, they’re not broken. How can we throw away things that are in good working order. We’ve talked about car boots or ebay but I’m worried we’ve passed that point. It would take us about a year to even list them for sale, and truth be told, I’m slightly scared to go into the loft in case I get lost.
Chance of success 4/10
So that’s my list of resolutions – I’m still not sure which one(s) to choose although some do look easier than others. Or perhaps you have some more ideas that might be more tempting – and if you do then I’d love to hear them because this is a list I and many others have failed with before. I think my New Year’s Resolution this year is to complete at least ONE of my New Year Resolutions!
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