Making No Promises

I'm not usually a fan of New Year's Resolutions. Firstly, I believe if you truly want to do something or to change something about yourself you should just get on and do it, not wait for some cute little date in your calendar. Secondly, I think they're a recipe for self-recrimination; it's dark outside, people are bored and broke after the holidays, it is not the time of year for anything requiring willpower or motivation - why set yourself up for failure before the year has even begun?

This year, I think I might make an exception to that rule.

But that's not what this post is about. This post is about all the things which I considered resolving to do (or not to do), but realised I would never keep up.
  • A Photo a Day
    Every so often I consider doing a photo a day project. I've even started them before and made it up to 180-something shots before getting bored of photographing my teacup/feet/cats.

    The thing is, my day to day life is pretty samey. My home and my work are only a few metres apart. I go to the pub quiz once a week and the cinema fairly regularly. My friends and I tend to meet in one of the same few places. There's not much new to photograph.

    And I realise that part of the point of photo a day projects is to get you looking for the unusual within the ordinary, but ultimately they just get me stressed out about failing to meet my self-imposed obligation.
  • Seek Out New Music
    I used to actively seek out new music; I was bang up to date with the underground indie scene and went to masses of gigs. I sometimes feel a little disappointed in myself for no longer knowing the names of even the biggest chart toppers, never mind any obscure new talents.

    But these days I find the music scene overwhelming. Thanks to the internet, there is so much new music available to me and I find it to be a bit of a kissing-lots-of-frogs scenario. And who has the time for frog lovin'? I have books to read and films to watch and friends to see; I had to let something go and keeping up with musical trends was it.
  • Buy Only Vintage/Homemade
    This is a very nice idea, but if you've ever tried to find comfortable vintage shoes in a UK size six and a half (US 9), you'll know why it's impractical. I've only ever found two pairs of vintage shoes I liked and one left my tights covered in what looked like red plastic dandruff which no amount of washing would remove.

    Sometimes things fall apart and I need to replace them now, not whenever that delivery from Canada arrives.

    And then there's cosmetics. With ultra-sensitive skin and an allergy to chemical perfumes, the barely regulated handmade market can be a great big risk.
  • Do Half the Cooking
    Over the last three years, Steve and I have slipped from cooking together to splitting the cooking 50/50 to him doing 99.99% of the cooking by himself. And sometimes I feel really guilty about it; he enjoys cooking a lot more than I do and he's a lot better at it than me and I do do all the dishes, but I think sometimes he would like a break.

    But... I do really hate cooking. And he does really hate the dishes. And, frankly, I'm just not that interested in learning to cook well. I would be adding it to my New Year's Resolution list because it's something I feel I should want to do, but I'd be lying to myself and to you.
  • Send More Real Mail
    I'm not going to publically promise to do this; it would only lead to disappointment for my friends when I failed to keep to my word.
All of these are areas I feel like I should be improving on. And I do intend to. But, deep down, I know that none of them are important enough or exciting enough for me to put a lot of effort into them. And if I don't put a lot of effort into them, I'm not going to meet my goals.

So, this year, rather than setting myself up for disappointment, I'm going to focus my energy on one or two things which really matter to me with a vague intention to "be generally better" on the side.

What about you? Are there any resolutions you feel like you should be making but you know in your heart wouldn't work for you this year?

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