Phil Gyford

Writing

Monday 12 January 2004

PreviousIndexNext This year's non-resolutions

Having dinner with Mr Sofaville at the weekend, we got on to discussing New Year Resolutions. I said I didn’t have any, which is usually the case; setting rarely-achieved goals on an arbitrary day seems like one step up from superstition and religion. But I soon realised that without calling them “resolutions”, there are various things I’ve told myself:

  • Read more books.
  • Go to the cinema more.
  • Read newspapers more.
  • Paint, draw, etc. more.
  • Practice Japanese more.
  • Explore London more.
  • Visit other parts of the country more.
  • Stay in more.
  • Go out more.

All of which assumes I can find more hours in the average day, and more days in the average week, than I was accustomed to last year. And given that 2003 was the year in which I finally realised I don’t have enough time to do everything I want, achieving all these non-resolutions seems unlikely.

Comments

'... one step up from superstition and religion ...'

Ouch.

Realising you don't have enough time to do everything you want sounds familiar (a symptom of approaching/turning 30, perhaps?). The advantage is that it makes it easier to tell what you REALLY want to do. Perhaps the best resolution isn't to spend more time doing the things you want, because if you really want to do something, you don't need to resolve to do it. Maybe it's better to resolve to spend LESS time doing the things that prevent or distract you from doing the things you want.

Having said all that, last year I resolved to work on behalf of fair trade, and about the only thing I did was buy 'Hail to the Thief.'

Posted by Laura Brown on 14 January 2004, 10:21 pm | Link