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Resolutions – from a skeptic

Updated: Oct 11, 2020

For those of you who know me well, you will be aware of the stupid challenges I set myself each year.

Up until 1 January 2017, I had never done a New Year’s resolution, I didn’t believe in them.

For me, if you wanted action and change, you just needed to do it – an arbitrary date shouldn’t make a difference. By starting in the New Year, all resolutions just seemed to be associated with failure... the things we wanted to do, but didn’t quite achieve.

Note, I call myself a resolution skeptic here, not a cynic. A skeptic is someone inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions. Whereas a cynic would be considered negative or jaded toward those opinions. A doubter vs a disbeliever. I just doubted the impact of resolutions, however I hadn’t collected enough data.

At this time, I was living in London, and all that January 1 meant was;

  • Tired people who were under caffeinated and exhausted from getting up early for the gym,

  • Dreary, no sugar, vegan, no alcohol humans who were broke from diet supplements and protein shakes,

  • Jittery and snappy now ‘non-smokers’,

  • and the rest of us, just tip toeing around these human explosions waiting to happen.

This is when I decided, if I was going to do a New Year’s resolution, then it should be exactly that: a new YEARS resolution. A whole year. All or nothing.

So in:

2017 – I ran every single day.

2018 – No chocolate.

2019 – Yoga ever single day.

2020 – (Currently) Vegetarian and reading 52 Books

There is a great Anne Morris quote about this that explains these resolutions, and what impact they have had in my life.

The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating — in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around like rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

I have learnt so much about myself during these challenges, but more importantly I have learnt more about others.

I do not define myself as a runner, reader, vegetarian or a yogi – but this helped me connect with more people, from different communities, different thinkers, people who are passionate about their world, and previous to this our worlds had never crossed.

Don't get me wrong.

I understand a whole year is a lot.

So, my suggestion is to start with 30 days.

Just try something, who knows you might love it, you might not (and that’s ok too). Sometimes we just need the push to try. Take this as a push – I have written down a list to get your creative juices flowing.

Let me know what you have a go at, I would love to be your cheerleader!

  • Working out 5 days a week

  • Phone use only 2 hours a day (i.e only between 2 and 4pm)

  • Meditation every morning

  • No booze

  • Read poetry (or write it!)

  • Choose your favourite food and see if you can live without it (for me cheese and potato would be my kryptonite)

  • Something that scares you everyday

  • Bike Rides every day

  • Get up at 5am (If you want a book recommendation to inspire this let me know)

  • Only drink water

  • Conversation with someone new everyday

  • Random act of kindness

  • Try out learning a new language

  • Write yourself a daily gratitude list

  • Get in the water for a swim everyday

  • Avoid buying things for a month (maybe no clothes or no lunches out)

  • No sugar (good luck with this one, I love me a cream donut...)

  • Journaling each day.

  • Try a new food item each day

  • Volunteer in your local community

  • Learn an instrument

  • Get your inner artist out and make art everyday

Obviously this is just a starting point, let me know if you have anything else awesome to add, anything you have tried, or if you need someone to motivate and cheer you on!

At Blue Mercury Leadership, we have programmes to discuss the importance of personal resilience, goal setting and achieving targets.

If this is something that you, or your team would like to understand more, please get in touch at our website we would love to help.


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