This year, I will...
It’s January and New Year’s resolutions are all the rage. But just how many of us will actually stick to them? Alasdair Duncan takes a reality check.
The New Year is a time for starting again – for turning over a new leaf and embracing life as a grown-up. Actually, no it’s not. That’s a complete load of BS. Here are five of the most common New Year’s resolutions, and the likelihood that any of them will actually stick.
‘This year, I’m going back to the gym’
There’s nothing more demoralising than going out and being surrounded by a sea of six-packs and pecs and muscles that you couldn’t even name without some kind of a diploma in sports physiology when you yourself feel like a fat schlub. The new year period inspires a lot of us to take out gym memberships, or start using ones that have lain dormant for six months.
Likelihood that the resolution will stick: Low. January is peak time at the gym, with people crowding out all of your favourite machines, and lots of new faces for the personal trainers to scream at. By February, however, the numbers have started to thin, as the realisation that it takes more than two visits a week to look like Channing Tatum begins to set in.
‘This year, I’m going to drink less’
When you’ve got a couple of shots in you, there’s no denying that you’re totally fucking awesome – mean and sassy and hilarious, kind of like a character Krysten Ritter would play. This often leads to ‘urgh, what have I done?’ moments, waking up wondering whose house or relationship you’ve destroyed this time, and vowing never to drink again. This usually lasts until later that night or, if you’re really willing to stick with it, the following weekend. The new year is always a good time to cut back and promise to behave more like a responsible adult.
Likelihood that the resolution will stick: You’ve probably already broken this one. Have fun on your next drunken rampage!
‘This year, I’m going to go out more’
Settling into blissful coupledom has its distinct advantages – the warm, fuzzy feeling of snuggling up on the couch with your special someone, the ability to act like a smug shit around your single friends who don’t know what they’re missing. But moving to couple town can also make you complacent. Why bother leaving the house on a Friday night when the two of you can order in some take-away and catch up with the last season of Portlandia? Why not slob around in your undies all weekend, because c’mon, who do you actually have to impress? It’s easy to forget that outside the bubble, there’s a whole world full of stuff that’s actually happening right now.
Likelihood that the resolution will stick: You’re in for a couple of months of hectic socialising before you remember that leaving the house is actually the fucking worst, and the two of you are back on the couch in your underwear.
‘This year, I’m going to settle down’
Being single has its distinct advantages – the knowledge that your next really fun lay could happen at any moment, the ability to act like a smug shit around your boring couple friends who don’t know what they’re missing. Hooking up with a series of random strangers can, of course, be a whole lot of fun, but every now and then, flicking through a succession of blurry torso pictures and ‘str8’ guys who are just after a chill time on Grindr can lead to a bit of an existential crisis. Wouldn’t it be nice to get away from all this, meet a sweet boy and settle down? The new year is a time for new beginnings, and the urge to couple up can be a pretty potent one.
Likelihood that the resolution will stick: There are some who say that finding lasting love on Grindr is an urban myth and some who swear it’s totally happened for them. Whatever happens, you’ll meet a lot of very interesting penises along the way.
‘This year, I’m going to quit smoking’
Smoking is gross and disgusting and expensive as hell and makes you stink like the carpet at a really down-market strip club, but you probably already knew all that. Quitting is tough. On the one hand, you will turn into a mean, temperamental rage monster with an insatiable desire to eat everything in sight, but on the other, you’ll get to make some really entertaining Facebook and Twitter posts about wanting to punch strangers in the face and midnight junk food binges.
Likelihood that the resolution will stick: For many, the promise of a fresh start on January 1 represents a tangible change to shed the habit for good. However, something arbitrary as a new year may not be enough of a motivator – you’re probably not going to quit for good unless you’re really ready.