Wednesday, 12 January 2011

[for the sake of auld lang syne]

Well, my attempts at writing a new blog every Sunday went well, didn’t they? Let’s change it slightly to a new blog once a month on a Sunday – this might be more realistic and therefore more achievable ;)

A couple of the blogs I’ve read recently (Fiona’s and Bx’s) are about New Year’s Resolutions (or lack of them). I’ve always said something along the lines of “My New Year’s Resolution is to not make any more New Year’s Resolutions” which has always worked well enough for me. So, this got me thinking... why on earth to we actually make resolutions? If we’re all secretly alright with who we are (which we are, otherwise we would have made these changes long ago) why do we bother with making (or attempting to make) all these changes to ourselves and our lifestyles? I had a look into it and it all dates back to the Romans, you’ll be pleased to hear. Basically, Janus (where the word January comes from) has two heads, and so can look forwards and backwards at the same time (how he copes with this as well as being a man I have no idea) and is therefore ideally placed to have a look at new beginnings, which, of course, is what the New Year is all about. Good ol’ Wikipedia gave me a few statistics about New Year’s Resolutions – 12% of people actually achieve their resolutions. It doesn’t give a timeframe for this... but I guess it’s within the year. It was interesting to find out that men achieve their targets more often when they set themselves a goal, whereas women are more likely to achieve when they make their goals common knowledge and get support. I guess women don’t really like to lose face, or be seen to be incompetent... I know I certainly don’t.

This year, however, I feel that 20 years’ worth of living is a suitable number to reassess one’s life and to make changes. (Yes, I’ve been here for a grand total of two decades. Scary stuff!) After all, a new habit is formed after a period of six weeks. This means that if you get up at 5am every week for six weeks, you’ll want to go to get up at 5am on the seventh week. I’m not going to pretend that I’ve read much into it (if at all) or that I understand psychology, but on the face of it, this sounds good enough for me. So, New Year’s Resolutions, I hear you ask? Here are my three:

1. Lose a couple of stone

I think that this will do me good. According to BMI-ness I’m overweight, so getting rid of a couple of stone would be quite nice. There’s also the fact that I’ve been invited to three weddings this summer, and losing some weight would mean that I think that I’d look nicer in dresses, which would then make me feel nicer and so would make me look nicer. I hope that makes sense, but if not, oh well. I know what I mean! I plan to do this by:

a. Eating healthily

My Brother got me a cookbook for Christmas that has 114 healthy recipes in it, and my Grandma got me a Jamie Oliver cookbook as well. I think this will mean that I’ll have more variety in my cooking and be more aware of what I eat. I was feeling quite tired before Christmas, probably due to my essentially vegetarian diet at uni, which meant that I didn’t have so much iron. However, I’m into the habit of eating fresh fruit (not quite there on the veg yet – something to work on!) and eating at sensible times and in sensible amounts. Just got to keep it up!

b. Going to the gym

A couple of my friends in Manchester have committed to (between them) doing 5 hours of cardiovascular exercise a week with me. While I appreciate that this won’t tone me as much as reps will, it’s good to have variety, and their support will really be useful. Reps and stretches I can do at home, which is nice (especially in the colder weather) and I invested in a weighted skipping rope a while ago, which I should really use. So, I think that the gym twice a week at least isn’t too unrealistic... right?

2. Be more disciplined

As I am now 20 I feel that I should have a greater grasp of my life. I need to actually care about what I look like most of the time as opposed to only some of the time. This means that I should do my hair so it is acceptable every morning, wear makeup if the situation requires it, get dressed before noon every day and actually do some work. This means that I will have to have more will power... I WILL do a bit of work every day. Honest. :/ This also includes things like making home-cooked food, keeping the house and my room tidy as much as is humanly possible, and not getting so carried away by dreams that I forget to concentrate what’s happening here and now.

3. Saving the best 'til last... I’ll start all this tomorrow.

It’s well reported that January is the worst time ever to start a resolution. With all the over-eating from Christmas and New Year, the added pressure of (in my case) exams at uni and meeting up with everyone again after Christmas, it’s highly likely that a weight loss plan will only be in place for a month, maximum, and as we all start off with more weight to shift, we stop as soon as we get back to the weight we were before Christmas. Hope that made sense – it was a rather long sentence. :/ I know a stitch in time saves nine, but too much change in too short a period could spell disaster. The question is, am I ready to take the risk that this change could bring? I quite like who I am, really. I know I say I could do with losing a couple of stone and being more focussed and disciplined, but I’m still young. I like my friends, and will they still like me if I aim for this perfection? (I’m sure they will, don’t get me wrong... but it’s all stuff to consider). Tomorrow never dies, so I don’t really have too much to worry about...

I was going to put one of those really well known everyday sayings on the end of this blog, but I've completely forgotten what it was. Oh - that was it! (My mind goes every so often, I'm sorry) The best thing to consider while deciding on New Years' Resolutions (in my opinion)?

"Be who you are, and say what you feel. Because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr Seuss

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