So, it's 31st December as I write this; the time of year when I have eaten too much, drunk too much, spent too much money, and dread the idea of going to the gym. And now it's time for the feeling of guilt to creep in. Guilt settles in my stomach like an undigested piece of cheddar; the discomfort of remembering the things I should have done and haven't, the things I wanted to do but didn't.
Then comes the inevitable desire for setting New Year's Resolutions (NYRs). Ah yes, those wonderful things that will cure us, save us from ourselves, bring us a healthier lifestyle, deliver us a slimmer body.
Whatever it is I wish for, making the NYR is the easy part, along with declaring it proudly to all my family and friends (as I watch their face for signs of disbelief). Sticking to my NYR is the challenging part. I failed to make it to the gym more than twice last year, I can't live without my soya lattes, and the steamer has gathered dust. We've all been here. But why? Why bother to say all this stuff to ourselves, why repeatedly list them to friends and family?
Why set ourselves up to fail?
It's because you and I have hope. I hope that parts of me (the detox-yoga-lover) can overcome the other parts (the cheese board-and-wine-lover) and for a few weeks at the beginning of each year, I give that side of me a chance to express itself.
Hope is no longer good enough. This year will be different.
Instead of starting things I won't be able to keep up, I will do more of the things already in my life that make me feel good.
I've just listed all the things I'm grateful for and all the things that make my life enjoyable. It's a long list, mostly full of stuff I take for granted. And then I thought about how I can embrace these things - spend more time with people I love, who appreciate my playful sense of humour, make more time for being creative, go on more long walks, give more of my time to others when they need it. I can do all of these things, and I'm looking forward to it already.
Instead of making New Year's Resolutions that I'll break by February, I'm going to trust myself to get back on track, because that will help me live the life I want, not the life I hope for.