I love the “slightly nice” bit, and I’d never heard it described in that way before. OK how about doing the world a favor and banishing the diet mentality? That would be nice. But how about stopping the blame and shame culture for women who don’t fit what society deems as the norm full stop? Gee that would be pretty cool to attempt ever year wouldn’t it? And have you noticed that lots of New Year’s resolutions tend to be about giving up so-called bad stuff? I’m giving up alcohol; I’m giving up chocolate; I’m gonna’ stop biting my nails; I’m gonna’ stop dating losers…Surely in a laws of attraction kind of way, with that mindset we are completely focusing on the negative, and therefore that is all the universe hears, making it of course more likely to happen. Because we all know now that what you think is what you become, right? Don’t eat the chocolate, don’t eat the chocolate…oh shit, I can’t stop thinking about chocolate; sod it, I will have some chocolate. It’s like when you have small kids.
You say, “Don’t touch the vase, don’t touch the vase.” All the poor kid hears is “Vase” and before you know it they are obsessed with the damn thing and you know its only going to end up one way…broke. Why are we so obsessed with what we don’t want? We are anti war; against cruelty; fighting discrimination; we want to get rid of crime; eliminate child poverty; battle alcoholism and most importantly fight the fat – come on folks wake up! All that energy spent on the very things we don’t want, and with resolutions they are often about giving things up or not doing the terrible things we have been doing of late.
A 2007 study by Richard Wiseman from the University of Bristol involving 3,000 people showed that 88% of those who set New Year’s resolutions fail, despite the fact that 52% of the study’s participants were confident of success at the beginning. Well, we are always positive at the start of a new regime, because the reality of the actual commitment is never properly thought through.
Surprisingly, Men achieved their goal 22% more often when specific measurable goal targets were set. I guess because of their competitive nature, whereas women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends. I don’t buy into this whole SMART goal way of thinking anyway. I prefer to think of my goals as STUPID instead and I will explain why.
Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely can be left to the big boys of management consultancy because Walt Disney taught us if you can dream it your can achieve it without any talk of specificness. He also suggested that elephants might fly, which of course they do when being transported from one zoo to another; soit’s all about perspective.
Back in 2005 when I set myself the goal of running a marathon, I weighed close to twenty stone. I had never run for more than 30 seconds straight, what was I thinking? My lifestyle was chaotic to say the least and I didn’t have a great track record at sticking to things health and fitness related so running a full marathon was neither achievable nor realistic by anyone’s standards…but I did manage it. I achieved that goal because I simply believed I could. I set myself targets, told others I would do it in the most public of ways and foolhardily moved through my plan to its competition…no matter what.