New Year’s Eve.
I’m always filled with mixed emotions at New Year.
On the one hand, I love starting something new. I love New Year and I love celebrating the start of a fresh year: ringing the New Year in with loved ones, friends or family and making it something special.
One the other hand, I hate starting the New Year hungover, I hate sleeping late on January 1st and wasting the start of the fresh, clean, shiny New Year and I hate New Year’s Resolutions.
I know my opinion is an unpopular one.
When people ask me what my New Year’s Resolution is I’m always met with a silent wall of scorn as I state: “I don’t do them.”
I don’t believe in resolutions.
I don’t like the hype created around ‘getting it right this year’ or ‘picking the right resolution’.
It’s a gimmick, and unlike most I happily buy into, this one drives me mad.
To me, if you want to make a change, or set yourself a new goal, you start today: you shouldn’t have to need a specific day of the year to decide to better yourself.
It gives people an excuse to indulge to excess over Christmas, because they’ll ‘start in the New Year’.
I realise it sounds like I’m mostly talking about losing weight, but the top NYR is to lose weight, closely followed by getting more organised and saving more money.
Most of the changes people want to make are habitual and if you’re kicking a habit, or trying to form a new one, it makes no difference when you start, so why wait for the start of a new year?
This time last year I was really down.
I felt like my life was going nowhere.
I was single, painfully alone and filled with an horrific sense of dread at the prospect of another year like that one.
2013 wasn’t kind to me and I was still licking my emotional wounds.
I knew in the back of my mind that something would change, things would get better somehow and I’d feel ridiculous for being so miserable, but in that moment, it felt that that day would never come.
My year felt like this version of Auld Lang Syne.
It took a particularly unsympathetic pep talk from Lorna and a phone call from Sport Lived for me to get over myself.
In a seemingly snap decision, I decided I was moving to Australia, 2014 was going to be my year and nothing was going to stop me from starting to live. It had always been my plan to live down under for a while, but why not now? Why not today?
Then I dislocated my shoulder again and it felt like the cosmos was conspiring against me, I gave up on my dreams of life in Oz and resigned myself to a year of uncertainty in terms of my shoulder: surgery or no surgery?
Moving out or not moving out? Can I afford it?
Is my arm going to get better?
Money worries. Life worries. Love worries.
And then one day, after a miserable weekend in Nottingham, I thought: fuck it.
Everything I hold true about New Year’s Resolutions was true now.
What was I waiting for? For time to pass me by again?
For the right moment, the right chance, enough money.
But I’d never have enough money, there’d never be the right chance or the right moment.
I had to just do it. Now. Today.
I decided to do it anyway, to move to Australia and deal with the consequences later.
My new year started in September when I stepped on the plane and started the biggest adventure of my life.
I have wonderful friends.
And things are looking up in terms of love.
I miss the friends I have in England dearly, but I’m not lonely.
Technology is wonderful and I can still keep in touch with my friends at home.
But I started living the life I wanted in September, I didn’t need to wait until New Year. I started now.
Louisa asked me today what my New Year’s Resolution was going to be; I tried to explain to her why I don’t do them, but she didn’t get it.
She’s spent the past three months waiting until New Year to change: every week she vows to quit smoking, or exercise more, or start busking or eat vegetables and the days and the weeks keep rolling by as she continues to live the same way, with no sign of change.
But now it’s New Year, suddenly, this time, she’s going to do it.
Nothing will change.
I told her she didn’t need an excuse, she doesn’t need a reason, she could start now.
She says she does need a reason, if it’s New Year then she will do it, in time for Uni.
I know for some people it’s the kick up the arse they need to make a positive difference to their lives, but I maintain that resolutions are overrated.
Change starts the day you decide you want it, not January 1st.
If you want something do it. Do it today. Do it now while the passion burns inside you and don’t stop until you’ve got exactly what you wanted.
Today I’ll be ringing in the New Year with my new friends, in my new life in a new country.
And I couldn’t be happier.