And no, it's not because I'm being lazy.
Each year I kick start January with a list of things I'd like to achieve for the new year. I try not to aim too high, and stick with things that will improve the lives of myself, my children and my family.
This year began the same as any other when a question on New Years' Eve prompted me to ponder what I want to achieve for 2019.
"I want to lose weight and go overseas," I said.
Now, two whole days later, I've decided I'm done with resolutions.
Heading out to celebrate New Years' Eve with the kids. Image: supplied.
"I set myself up to fail"
You see, each year I set myself up to fail. I make these big goals that are often unattainable, and when I fail it's all over. I give up.
I'll start the year wanting to lose 10 kilos. I lose two, gain them back then binge and drown my sorrows and suddenly I've got an extra Snickers Bar or two and a six pack (of beer) to lose on top of the 10 I already had.
Sure, I still want to shed some kegs, and I definitely want to spend my next birthday with my family in the UK. I also want to be more patient and present with my kids and do more fun adventures, particularly now that our youngest is old enough to enjoy most things.
Building confidence. Use descriptive praise to build confidence. An example would be “I like the way you picked up your toys. You’re so helpful,” instead of “that’s great.” Praise strengths unrelated to talking as well such as athletic skills, being organized, independent, or careful.
But this year, I'm setting myself some realistic goals that will lead to what I really want, without the added pressure of the label that makes me want to rewind back to New Years Eve when I start to get a whiff of failure.
- I'm going to stick to my YouFoodz for work lunches (which is easy)
- I'm going to make sure I get my early morning bike ride in before I start work each Tuesday
- I'm going to make time to exercise at least two more times each week, even if it's in my lounge room or chasing the kids around the local park
- I'm going to drink mainly water and limit alcohol consumption.
There will be no numbers, no actual goal, just a general hope to make more time for self-care and NO feelings of failure if I don't quite get to all of these each week.
When (not if, but WHEN) I fail, it won't be a failure, it will be simply part of the process. Expected even. Like a minor pothole on my morning bike ride that makes the handlebars wobble slightly. But like then, I will continue on my ride, sucking in the fresh air determined to make it home without stopping, regardless of what the scales will say in a few weeks.
Tuesday morning bike rides are good for my soul. Image: Instagram/clairehaiek.
Why should January be special?
Another reason I've decided to kick my resolutions back into 2018 is that these are things I try to do all year round. What's so special about January?
Teach kids this bravery trick. Tell them to always notice the color of a person's eyes. Making eye contact will help a hesitant child appear more confident and will help any kid to be more assertive and less likely to be picked on.
Why shouldn't ALL the months of the year be blessed with my attempts (and failures) to lose weight?
Why can't I try to maintain calm when my kids do something really horrible all year round?
And sure, my biggest goal is to introduce my daughter to the family she's not met yet. But that's been my plan for the last few years so why do I need to bundle it up as a resolution anyway? We all know resolutions in my hands tend to fail, so I don't want to jinx it before we book our flights.
By putting a 'New Year' label onto my hopes I'm only limiting my efforts to the first part of the year where I try ... and then fail. And then what? I take five steps backwards then wallow in how much of a failure I am.
Not this year.
2019 will be filled with generally trying to achieve my goals all year round. And not beating myself up about it if I don't quite get there. After all, regret is SO 2018...