January is upon us now, the resolutions well underway. Smoking, alcohol, food and caffeine are the most popular things that each january millions of us vow to give up in a bid to better our health and rid ourselves of that post Christmas guilt, after weeks of overindulgence and enjoyment. The want to better ourselves is perhaps one of the most beautiful parts of being human, but is there any point in giving something up ‘for January?’ I certainly don’t think so, as someone who doesn’t believe in New Years resolutions.
I am all for eating better, taking up exercise and even drinking slightly less, anything for a healthier life, but these are dramatic lifestyle changes, not habits that’s can be dropped or taken up in the space of a few weeks. Bringing science into the equation, apparently it actually takes 66 days to change a habit, meaning that even if you were to succeed it would take longer than just a dry January. I can’t help but feel that we are just setting ourselves up for a failure, resulting in us only feeling much worse about ourselves when we do eventually give in to the carbs or that glass of red (let’s be honest, I don’t fancy facing the January blues without wine to hand, do you?) It’s a vicious circle.
Then there’s the health aspect, we may have our bodies best intentions at heart when we banish all small pleasures from January’s long days, but restricting one particular food group from yourself for long periods of time is only going to have unhealthy effects on the body and mind. There’s the risk of cravings and obsession and getting caught in that vicious circle again.
I have always believed that if you really want to change an aspect of your life, it shouldn’t take a new year to do. It can be done at any time if you want it enough, mid month, mid-week, even mid-morning! However New Years resolutions don’t have to be a waste of time, they can inspire and offer us a chance to be more positive, so make a different sort of resolution and try adding something to improve your life rather than taking things away. Compliment your friends more, read that book you’ve been meaning to, travel to a different country, write a blog or simply just smile more.