Why New Year’s Resolutions Are A Waste Of Time

Or ‘How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Accept I’m A Fat Lazy Slob’

Wait for it. Nearly there. Here it comes!

2013 has arrived!

Photo: Syndicate

The year that promises to be everything that 2012 wasn’t. For starters, it’s denoted by a slightly larger number and the days of the week will align differently with the days of the month. All you really need to change this new year is your calendar.

I don’t do the whole new year’s resolution thing. I could suddenly decide to join a gym or reinvent my ‘look’ any of the other 364 days, but the point is I don’t.

I don’t because joining a gym or buying an entirely new set of clothes are endeavours as fruitless as they are costly. A waste of time and money. A narcissistic self-delusion of some kind of progress.

“But self improvement is important!” I hear you cry. “You’re just bitter because you’re not as well dressed or fit as we are. Also your last article stank – I think Taylor Swift is awesome!”

Photo: Eva Rinaldi

And yes it’s true, I’m probably neither as well-dressed or well-exercised as you are. That’s because I’m not you. I’m me. The same ‘me’ I was last year, with no intention of becoming any sort of ‘new me’ as all the adverts and newspapers seems to be telling me I should become.

If I were a serial killer I would probably cut down on the axe murders. If I were a thief I would probably quit my job at the bank (or at least forego my bonus). And if I were a Bristol Epigram writer I would make it my new years resolution to have a sense of humour.

Last time I checked I am none of those things (although I hear Epigram writing looks better on a CV, awfully tempting) and therefore in no urgent need to improve myself for the good of society at large.

That’s not to say I haven’t made mistakes in 2012. I’ve said things I’ve regretted, done things I’ve regretted, done other things I’ve regretted, sometimes in places I’ve regretted and then woken up in the morning on a floor I don’t quite recognise but certainly stained with regret.

The point is that the people who store up all of these mistakes and then designate a day, whether New Years, Lent or Rosh Hashanah, to regret them are doing it wrong. Regretfully.

So now we’ve uncovered my real gripe with new year resolutions. Not so much the self-improvement aspect, but the idea that we can get away with whatever we like so long as there’s a day of repentance once every time we’re flung around a giant hot ball of gas.

That day of repentance doesn’t need a religious aspect. The day of repentance I started this article talking about is, for most people, a drunken orgy of debauchery.

However, the principle is the same. It’s a day to hit the reset button, to start again, to be absolved of our sins. And it’s a load of bullshit.

I’m going to make the same mistakes in 2013 that I made in 2012, and chances are I’ll make some new ones too. I don’t want to, and I loathe the fact that I will. But it doesn’t change the fact that I, like all of us, am only human.

The best I or anyone else I can do is try our hardest all year round, be forever reflective and learn a little bit every day.

Or join a gym, that’s fine too.