One Resolution We Should All Make This Year

One Resolution We Should All Make This Year

Not THE one resolution that we should all make this year. Most lists of resolutions that I see already have sensible and/or ethical vows on them - giving more to charity; helping elderly neighbours; taking better care of ourselves.

There are plenty of things which we all know we should be doing.

But there is one resolution which I believe we should all be making, which I have never once seen on a list:

One Resolution We Should All Make This Year: I Will Have Hobbies That I Do Just For Fun

So many resolutions are about turning hobbies into challenges - we will read 52 books this year; sew 104 dresses this year; cook 366 new meals this year. We will beat our personal bests.

We will not use our free time for something so frivolous as simply relaxing and enjoying ourselves. We will use it to better ourselves, beat our own successes and prove to the world that we really are busy.

I don't think this can be healthy.

I don't like this constant pursuit of perfection.

I don't like seeing people describing simple ways of unwinding as "guilty pleasures".

How and why have we absorbed this idea that we should feel bad about doing nothing now and then? That relaxing with a good (but not critically acclaimed good) movie is a waste of time? That our hobbies aren't worth much unless we're scoring points with them?

Achieving an arbitrary goal does not prove that you're better than other people - more intelligent; more focused; more productive. So you knitted 52 scarves? So you read only classics? So you took a carefully staged self-portrait every single day? These are only worthwhile achievements if you genuinely enjoyed them.

Wanting to practise a hobby and become better at what you're doing does not have to mean seeking recognition for it or entering competitions or pursuing a new freelance career. It can do, of course. But only if that makes your life more rewarding.

I'm all for challenges. I'm all for personal projects. Have things you want to achieve this year. It's great to be motivated.

But let's all resolve to have some hobbies - even just one hobby - which we do without stress or guilt or the fear of failure.

Let's all keep something aside which we do just for fun.