Your Fuss-Free, Anti-Judgemental and Totally Fool-Proof (Not) Guide to Being Awesome in 2016

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching. Are you gearing up to go on a detox yet? Considering which feat of athleticism you’re about to tackle? Trying to decide which charity will hold you accountable? Are you trying to come up with a catchy blog name as you read this, finding the right blend of playful and serious, so that you can document your journey for all to see?

These last few years, I’ve grown to detest New Years resolutions. So this post is as much a reminder to me as it is an invitation for you to pause and consider, before you set out your goals for 2016, if you really are doing it for yourself or not.

I’ve been on the Internet for a long time. One might even say I “grew up with it”, or on it, depending on where you look. I’ve been on this dog-and-pony show, and I’m really fucking sick of it. Sick of it, because I hate how easy everyone makes it sound to turn your life around.

No, there are no 16 steps to perfection, 5 to wisdom, or 33 to God Mode. No the gym membership won’t solve your relationship problems, your book will not write itself just because you went on a juice cleanse, and you will not find enlightenment on a yoga retreat. You know why? Because unless you want the gym membership, the juice cleanse, or the yoga retreat, unless it makes you 100% excited to think about these things, then they will not help you. At best, they will be an expensive way for you to sink your money.

What are resolutions, really? They could mean different things for different people, but as a former business studies drone, someone who spent months writing marketing plans for “healthy living”, and someone who genuinely embraced the fitness-and-diet industry at one point in her young life, let me tell you something:

Resolutions are a means to an end. That end is usually for us to get what we’ve always wanted.

Unfortunately, there are several huge industries that make their business of displacing our wants, or rather, tricking us into thinking that the fastest route to getting what we want is through their products. And it’s bullshit, because how can anybody know what it is that you truly want? Brands don’t aim their considerable resources to only capturing 1% of the population (unless they’re going to make them pay through the nose for it), they go for demographics. Target audiences. They assume a one-size-fits-all approach to a group of people that might only have one thing in common.

Yeah, can’t imagine how this might not work for some people. *snark*

What do you really want? I don’t know – I’m not gonna sit here and tell you either. I don’t even know what I want half the time. But more often than not, here’s what my basic desires boil down to: love, recognition, safety, freedom, happiness. Sometimes money can buy it, but unless you keep paying for it indefinitely, sooner or later you would have to do the hard work of cultivating those things for yourself.

So let’s cut through the noise and the bullshit. If you’ve made your resolutions list, look at it now. If you haven’t, consider what you might do. Then shut off your phone, find a place to sit down, undisturbed, and think, really hard:

What is it that you want?  Really, really want? What do you see when you close your eyes? What do you dream about? Take your time. Maybe you have several fantasies you need to get through. Maybe they have a common denominator. Maybe they don’t. Think very hard about what makes those fantasies work for you, and then think if this is your own heart speaking, or someone else.

What’s stopping you from getting there? Is the thing you want illegal? Immoral? Unsafe for you to do in your present society? Unavailable because you don’t have funds or moral support?

If it is illegal or unsafe, maybe you should consider what is it that makes you want it so badly and find ways of addressing that. If it isn’t illegal or unsafe, and you lack the resources, perhaps it’s time for you to consider how you might get them.

And for the rest: FUCKING GET OUT THERE AND DO IT!

Can’t do it right now? Make plans to do it. Use those fancy flowcharts or planners everyone’s going gaga over to break that thing down into doable steps and then do the steps. Do a step right now. Make the commitment, and make the commitment because it’s something you want, because it makes you so giddy and so sick with anticipation that you can barely sit still.

That can be a marathon or it can be a 10-minute walk every day. It can be taking a French cooking class. It can be a new language. It can be reconnecting with your mother. It can be making a dating profile and going on a few dates without dropping X pounds/changing your hair/getting a makeover. It can be anything you fucking want.

But don’t do it because “everyone else does it”, or because “it’s the done thing”, or because “that blogger in the ad had really clear skin”. Don’t do it if you’re feeling meh.

Don’t do it to impress anybody else.

Don’t do it to impress anybody else.

Don’t do it to impress anybody else.

They won’t be. So just don’t.

Do it for you. And if it doesn’t align with whatever marketing campaign is doing the rounds on YouTube, fuck it. It was clearly not meant for you.

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2 thoughts on “Your Fuss-Free, Anti-Judgemental and Totally Fool-Proof (Not) Guide to Being Awesome in 2016

  1. I was just thinking of how every year I have made new year’s resolutions and I never end up keeping them. It’s always because I feel like it is something I “should” do, rather than something I want to do. Big difference. This year I am not making any. I am all about setting realistic goals, but I will not fall into the trap of spending money on things that will eventually fizzle out in a month’s time.

    • *fist bump* You know how sometimes, you’re told, or you think, that by spending money on something you are more likely to use it? Yeah, that doesn’t always work that way. Rock on, Melly!

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