A Different View with Dave O’Connell
New Year, New You – or so they say. But unless you’ve access to your own cosmetic surgeon, the chances are it will be hard to tell the difference between the new one and the current model.
Some of us put pressure on ourselves at the turn of every year to lose weight, ease up on the drink, stop smoking, eat more vegetables, walk to work – in essence all of the things you’ve spent a lifetime avoiding like the plague.
But suddenly the old calendar is heading for the bin and you’re going to face 2017 and make it the year that everything changes forever.
If it lasts until February, you’ve done superbly well – but only if you’ve had the brain to choose just one area of your life to focus on.
Taking on too much is a recipe for disaster – what would make you think that all of the bad habits of a lifetime could somehow be expunged in one fell swoop?
It’s actually fairly easy to make a good start at giving up stuff; the cost of Christmas means you have no money for going anywhere in January anyway, so it’s a question of battening down the hatches until the first salary cheque arrives.
Then your progress can be maintained by the fact that the bills start to arrive towards the end of the month, and the minimum payment on the credit card accounts for the vast bulk of that month’s spare cash.
So you’re heading into February still off the drink – and then you get your head back above water, you meet one of the lads in town on a Friday night….and your resolve is gone the way of the Christmas spirit so that you’re back to square one.
To be honest, I’ve never made a New Year’s Resolution – in fact, never even contemplated one.
Equally, I’ve never quit anything for November and it’s a long time since I last gave up sweets and chocolate for Lent.
The irony is that these days, weeks can go by without a night out and in hindsight I realise that I’ve ‘done’ November on Lent – only in September or October.
But I didn’t actually give up the drink; I just never bothered going out to imbibe.
Researchers at the American University of Scranton found that three-quarters of people managed to keep their New Year’s Resolutions – for the first week.
You can of course go for something more nebulous – best of all is striving for a greater work/life balance because some people can interpret that as no work and loads of life.
Becoming more organised – what does that even imply? Learning something new; if only that resolutions aren’t your thing after all.
Be a better person? Is that an admission that the old you wasn’t up to much – and who’s actually monitoring your progress to a better you?
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.