I don’t like New Years celebrations; I think it’s due to my inherent cynicism about most things. I’m not really a party person and I don’t drink alcohol so I guess that takes most of the fun out of New Year. It’s a flaw, I know that and my pessimism is something I’m going to change in 2015… Ah there we go, the first New Year’s resolution I’ve made this year.

That’s why people get down on New Years’ – the resolutions. It’s a pressure, a cliché and a cynics dream. All those people who say they’re cutting out chocolate and going to the gym more or they’re going to be nicer and give more back to society when, more often than not, on January 1st you are no different than you were on December 31st.

But I think it’s time to start viewing it differently and this is where my pessimism ends. Okay granted, it’s a cliché BUT it’s a cliché for a reason. If everyone just changed they’re way of thinking from “oh it’s so unoriginal to say you’re going to give up chocolate from now on, you know you’re not – get real” to “Okay so you’ve highlighted that’s something you know isn’t right in your life maybe now is the time to work on that but please, for your own mental stability, don’t expect it to happen tomorrow!

New Years’ shouldn’t be about the quick turn around and the instant results that you are never going to get. It’s always said that gym membership goes through the roof throughout January and by the time February rolls around it drops back down again. Instead, this time should be about looking back at the crappy parts of your past year and saying “hey maybe I’ll work on that this year or maybe I won’t but at least I am self-aware of these things about myself”.

I think people have a tendency to go through life without really looking at their selves, and I am one of those people. People stand idly by while they feel guilty for not giving that spare £1 to charity or going to the gym every once in a while or calling that friend you haven’t spoken to in a while and they don’t really do anything about it. I think as a race we’ve programmed ourselves to just look the other way when something gets us down.

I prefer to think of life as a journey not a destination, look at Lord of the Rings for example, 90% of that movie is the journey from the Shire to Mount Doom and if you’ve ever read the books you’ll know that it’s mostly just walking. Sure you’ve got you’re major plot points along the way but it’s just walking and finding problems and solutions and interesting places along the way.
Life is about what’s learned along the way and making resolutions teaches you what went wrong on the journey so far and allows you to change the path you are on. It shouldn’t be something that’s made fun of and that comes with guilt and pressure it should be celebrated that people are actually willing to do something about what makes them unhappy!

This leads me on to a conclusion I’ve made as of my reflection on this past year. My pessimism about this time of year comes from others and it shouldn’t! I like thinking that maybe I’ll go to the gym more this year or I’ll work harder on my assignments because it gives me hope that maybe I won’t just get a repeat of 2014 (which between you and me wasn’t all that great of a year for me).

So…get that gym membership if that’s what you feel was lacking from your 2014; maybe slip that extra pound in your pocket into a charity bucket; call your far off friends every once in a while and make that first step. Just don’t expect it all happen as of January 30th because you’ve got that whole journey ahead of you, you’ve got to keep walking.


Rachael Atkinson-Millmoor



Image: here.