I am, unfortunately, a bit of a New Year grump. Maybe it's part of my post-festive melancholy or maybe it's the logical part of my brain telling me that, really, this day isn't really any different from any other. Whatever the reason, I find it hard to embrace the happiness that others find in the turning of the new year. Having said this, there is still a small part of me that remains hopeful that maybe, just maybe, there is something about New Year that will make a difference and that will help me make changes in my life. If that part of me wasn't there then I probably wouldn't be writing this post.
My history with New Year's Resolutions has been patchy. I haven't always made them and even less frequently stuck to them. But, on occassion, I have made them and also managed to achieve the changes I've wanted, so they can't be all bad. I've had things that I would like to change popping into my head for a while, and now that the big 1.1.11 is here I suppose it's time to put thoughts into words and then publish those thoughts for your scrutiny.
1. Lose Weight/ Tone Up
Not surprising really. This one probably features in a great many other resolution lists and is something I have often moaned about here previously. Exercise and healthy eating have never been things I've been good at and as I get older, my weight is becoming more of a problem, at least in terms of my personal image. I currently weigh around 11 stone (I haven't actually weighed myself in a week or so due to the excesses I have indulged in over the festive period). In terms of BMI, I am not overweight, but am at the top end of the ideal range, which makes me rather uncomfortable. So as a result, I am resolving to make changes to the physical appearance of my body. I'm not sure about setting an actual target, I don't really know what is realistic and what would actually be healthy for me, so I'll hold off on that for a while. I may invest in a book on weight loss/management for people with thyroid disorders, as I strongly believe this is a significant factor in my weight trouble. (I must start a list of things I will/may buy). This is mostly going to be about more exercise as my diet in general isn't actually that bad these days. Ideally I'll get 3 half hour work outs into a week, plus a few days of dog-walking/walking to work, which may be a little ambitious, but if I was being realistic I wouldn't have this resolution at all.
2. Invest in a more grown-up skin care regime
For a while I have been suffering from worse skin than usual and in my attempts to overcome this (mostly switching erratically between intensive cleansing and intensive moisturising), I recently realised that my skin care has changed little since I was a teenager. Needless to say, neither I or my skin are still teenagers, so I should probably start treating it like the grown-up it is. Part of this will probably involve buying my first anti-wrinkle treatment. OK, some of you may say I am still too young to be thinking of such things as wrinkles (I hope), but I saw Joan Collins looking fabulous on the TV a few months ago and she puts her ageless facade down to taking proper care of her skin from a young age. If this is true then the results speak for themselves, I certainly wouldn't mind having skin like Joan when I'm in my 70s. It's not like if you use wrinkle cream 'too young' then it'll backfire and you'll get worse wrinkles than you would otherwise, as far as I know!
3. Make more time for the important people in my life
I am very fortunate to have some very important people in my life, who are special enough to make my life worthwhile and lift my spirits when I am in need. If it wasn't for these people I wouldn't be who I am today. For various reason, ranging from too much work, being overworked and my tendency to revert to the life of a recluse, I don't think I have made enough time to see these people. My reclusive nature has previously resulted in loss of contact with good people, often to the point where I lose them as friends. For my own benefit and also to ensure I don't risk losing any more friends, I need and want to make more time to appreciate and enjoy these special people. They mean the world to me and make such a difference in my life, I want them to know how important they are to me and I want to be there for them if and when they need me, as they always are for me.
4. Work on being happier/more confident and enjoying life more
Initially, I had these as 3 or 4 different resolutions, but that made for a very long and repetitive list. I think the sentiment is clear and is something that comes up repetitively in my life. I suffer from depression, nowhere near as badly as in the past, but still in notable episodes. As a result of this, I have low/no self confidence and am often too afraid of life to actually do things, even things that I might actually want to do. All this leads to a destructive spiral of low mood and shutting myself off.
In the past a resolution like this would include a resignation to the need for professional help, but not this year, this year it's just me (and hopefully some willing volunteers) to get me through. This is going to be a big one, but is very important. In theory, finding some self confidence will lead to me feeling happier, enabling me to do more things I want to (being less scared) and leading to even greater happiness. Here's hoping.
I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to go about this. I guess it's a mix of general positive thinking and pushing myself to do things that I wold normally resist. This one is probably going to need some work too.
Enjoying life more could also extend to doing more of the things I enjoy such as baking, gardening and general crafting. Not only do I enjoy these things but having a better balance in my life should also help me manage my moods.
5. Work harder
I'm not going to explain this one too much. I'm rapidly running out of time on my PhD and I don't think I'm working as hard as I could be. While what I actually want to do with my future is unknown and possibly unlikely to be in research, getting a good result from my PhD is important to me and this isn't always translated into actual effort. So I'll try and be better at that.
I'm not sure how much sense this makes or how interesting it is. I apologise if I have bored you. Writing when tired isn't actually very easy.
Hope the New Year is treating you well,