Well once again Christmas is over, last year’s calendars have been taken down (well nearly, I keep forgetting about the one in the bedroom but it does have a lovely orang-utan picture on it) and New Year’s resolutions have been made ready to be broken.
It seems this year that rather than making actual New Year resolutions, the more popular options are to just make changes for January with numerous challenges being advertised. There is Jantastic (which I must confess to taking part in) where you set an exercise goal for the 4 weeks. You then hope to achieve your goal by telling everyone who’ll listen that you are doing it and hopefully someone will remember enough to ask you how you are getting on later. Luckily you can change your goals at any time so if you don’t quite make it then it’s easy to change them.
There is Veganuary, which as you can probably guess is where people give up all animal products for the month. This is something I’d quite like to try as have always fancied giving veganism a go. Unfortunately there are two problems for me with this. I’m addicted to mayonnaise, and we currently have enough cheese in our fridge to rebuild the entire moon. I hate to waste food so maybe not this year.
There is also of course the popular Dryathlon, where people ask for sponsorship for giving up drinking alcohol for a month. I’m sure everyone would agree that cutting down on alcohol is a good idea. However there is something about this event that just makes me a little uneasy. There are lots of people out there for whom drink is a real battle so maybe all donations should be given to AA instead. Not that I’m knocking anyone doing it, every little helps as Tesco says. Any event which raises money for charity as well as raising awareness of the cause is a worthy thing to do. However I just wonder if rather than putting up a poster and ticking off the days until the next alcoholic drink, maybe raising money for cancer research by cutting down alcohol intake for a whole year would be more beneficial rather than this current all or nothing approach.
Personally I think rather than doing a month of something and then stopping whether it be exercise, diet or learning a language it would be much better to try and make permanent changes. That’s why I like the reading challenges going around. They are for a year not just for January. Obviously most people are focussing on Mark Zuckerberg and his personal ‘read a book a fortnight’ resolution. Yet before he jumped on the bandwagon there were others out there doing similar things.
The excellent Goodreads website encourages people to say how many books they want to read in a year and tell people on their website (https://www.goodreads.com/challenges/3082-2015-reading-challenge) If ever there was a suggestion that people don’t read anymore this surely proves them wrong, so far over 580 000 people have signed up pledging to read an average of 51 books, that’s a lot of books to be read in 2015.
Of course these are all just the challenges and resolutions that are newsworthy and I’ve no doubt that all over the world people have made their own targets for 2015. Personally mine are to read 50 books, to participate in at least 5 10ks this year (note I don’t say run them all!), to swim at least twice a week and to remember to take down the 2014 calendar that’s in the bedroom. Fingers crossed I remember what I’ve said by the end of the month.
So just in case you missed it, last week saw the start of 2014. This year on New Year’s Eve I did something I haven’t done for about 10 years and headed to York Minster for midnight. We stood with a few hundred other people all looking slightly bemused as there was no countdown or fireworks or party to acknowledge the date change. There were of course chimes at midnight and it was a lovely evening nonetheless.
So 2014 begins and it’s time for everyone to start making their New Year resolutions. As those of you who were reading this blog last year will know, I’m not a fan of the New Year resolution (and for the rest of you if you want to know you can find it here) but that doesn’t seem to stop the rest of the human race. Once again people are vowing to lose weight, get fit, save money and start doing fun things.
Giving up chocolate seems to be a big one this year (well at least til February when people can then devour the hundreds of half price selection boxes they’ve bought in the sales, before announcing to everyone that they’ll be giving it up again for lent) Chocolate may have been the death of many in crime novels as Margot Kinberg eloquently puts here. Yet whilst I’d hope there are not too many poisoned chocolates floating around. I’m not sure the whole feast and famine approach is a particularly healthy way to go either.
Apparently the latest craze in resolutions is having a dry January. Now this is one I was all in favour of when someone told me about it. I hate getting wet, and rain really makes my hair go frizzy. However further investigation shows they apparently meant they were giving up alcohol for a month. That soon put a dampener (no pun intended) on that plan. We are in a recession you know and pubs rely on the likes of me to keep their businesses ticking over. Even more ridiculous is the idea that you can get sponsored for not drinking for a month in a dryathlon. Are people seriously trying to say that giving up their favourite beverage is on a par with running a marathon or hiking across the Himalayas? Maybe it would be if you were Harry Hole or Homer Simpson, but otherwise surely it’s not really much of an achievement.
Apparently coming in at number ten of the top ten resolutions people make is the wish to read more books. I read this on a website that had asked people to fill in a survey on what resolutions they were going to make. Well there’s one of the problems straight away, rather than filling in the survey people should just have picked up a book and read that instead. That way rather than have to make a resolution saying they are going to do something, they can actually do something.
I, of course, don’t need to make a resolution to read more, I just pick up one of the numerous books I have hanging around. I haven’t yet had a tally up of the number of books I read last year which I should do. I do know however, that I’ve read many more than I’ve had time to review. Therefore maybe my resolution should be to write more reviews. I’m not calling it a New Year one though, that’s just asking to fail.
Anyway Happy New Year All.
Happy New Year to all, I hope you have had a good festive break.
As always the start of another New Year brings with it the inevitable question of ‘What are your New Year’s resolutions?’ Personally I don’t make them, mainly as I don’t believe in them. Just because the year is one number higher, why does that suddenly mean you are going to stop being lazy and actually do the things you’ve talked about?
I’m a great procrastinator (at work anyway), and nowadays blame the internet. I suspect that there is a direct correlation between people who say they don’t have enough time to do things, and those who spend the most time surfing the net and playing on facebook. Maybe everyone should make a New Year’s resolution to go cold turkey and give up the internet one day a week for 2013. If we all did that, and then spent that time buying and reading books, we would make James Daunt and Waterstones very happy!
Apparently (well according to Wikipedia, the font of most of my knowledge) resolutions originally stem from the ancient Babylonians who made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. Well that sounds like a silly resolution to me, returning all the books I’ve borrowed and accidently forgotten to give back would take me til 2015 to do.
Of course sometimes resolutions do have their place. Take the Hilda’s for example (for new readers this should explain them) Hilda1 is having teeth implants next week to straighten her wonky teeth. After this she is going full out for a makeover with a new hair style and some new clothes. Whilst Hilda2 was talking about going on holiday to somewhere snowy so she could go bottom boarding whatever that is. Never mind that 1 is in their 80s and 2 is in their 60s, its a new year and they are going do something. As Du Plessis says in Wild at Heart ‘Its how you live your life, not how long you live it for that counts’ which the Hilda’s would obviously agree with (although they seem to be going for both how and how long).
Whilst I don’t do resolutions, I do like ‘to do’ lists which I suppose in a way are mini resolutions. Lists of things to do over the holiday, lists of housework that needs doing, lists of tv programmes I’d like to watch. My favourite list is my list of books to read, which is a list I’ve never yet completed. For every one I finish I usually add four more. Maybe I should make a New Year’s resolution to actually finish one reading list before starting another. But thats the thing with resolutions apparently 88% of them fail anyway, so why waste time making them!
Filed under Holiday, Reading