It doesn’t matter how many times I tell myself New Years Eve is overrated, every year I succumb to the notion that to bring in the New Year celebrating with friends is to start as I mean to go on (even if I do happen to be in a sticky floored pub in South East London).
Despite knowing that what New Years Eve really signals is the start of the post-Christmas come down and at least 2 months of miserable weather, it also brings a smidgen of hope along with it. This year will be better. This year will be different. And the New Year’s resolutions roll out.
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is, ‘lose weight and get fit’ and we often see a sharp rise in class attendance after Christmas, swiftly followed by a slow decline until the end of February when things are more or less back to normal. New Year or not, we are very good at putting things off and finding excuses not to do things, heightened only after two weeks of Ferrero Rocher for breakfast because so many people are making the same concerted effort at the same time.
If we take the basic theory that, in challenging someone to NOT think about the moon for a for a one minute period, it becomes a near impossible task. By the same token, calorie counting and obsessing about weight will almost certainly leave you feeling hungry. All the time. Signing up to an expensive gym membership might seem like just the motivation you need, but maybe it's a better idea to first of all commit to some form of exercise (preferably something you enjoy!) just once a week? While it's great to feel motivated, lots of New Year's resolutions fail at the first hurdle because they are often unrealistic and much too pressured.
My favourite Christmas present this year was a book entitled ‘Letters of Note’, compiled by Shaun Usher. In it, American artist Sol LeWitt writes a letter to her friend Eva Hesse who is facing a creative block and in the first paragraph, gives her the following advice:
‘Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder, wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping, confusing, itching, scratching, mumbling, bumbling, grumbling, humbling, stumbling, numbling, rumbling, gambling, tumbling, scumbling, scrambling, hitching, hatching, bitching, moaning, groaning, honing, boning, horse-shitting, hair-splitting, nit-picking, piss-trickling, nose sticking, ass-gouging, eyeball-poking, finger-pointing, alleyway-sneaking, long waiting, small stepping, evil-eyeing, back-scratching, searching, perching, besmirching, grinding, grinding, grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO.’
More often than not, thinking about doing something is much worse than the actual doing itself. So this year I’m going to DO, no excuses. That’s all.