New Year’s Resolutions, anyone?

// 1 January 2009

Ah, it’s 2009. January 1st. Happy New Year! It’s time for fresh starts and all that (if you buy into the idea that the end of one calendar year and the beginning of another can induce significant changes to your lifestyle). I do. Or at least I begin each year with a list of resolutions I hope to fulfil. While I find New Year’s Eve an anti-climax, New Year’s Day always seems to effervesce with possibility; both hopeful and exciting. The only time when the forthcoming 12 months are a complete tabula rasa to colour as we wish. What could be more motivating than that?

Sure, I know that realistically I could make changes at anytime throughout the year, but there’s something about the chiming of midnight on December 31st that makes my desires seem more attainable. The fact that a number of people also feel this way means there is comfort in the collective want for change (and that there is always someone to console you if you, as does happen, abandon your initial plans). According to Wikipedia, a New Year’s Resolution “is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous.”

The top 15 goals people commonly set are to: lose weight, gain weight, get out of debt, save money, get a better job, get fit, eat right, get a better education, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, reduce stress, take a trip, volunteer to help others, be less grumpy and be more independent. So, if you have any resolutions, what are yours?

The vast majority of mine are covered by this list. I want to lose weight, be healthier, exercise more, write more, read more, and spend less time online so that my eyes don’t shrivel up and turn to dust by the time I’m 26 (to name a few), although my complete and utter lack of will power means I’ll probably be writing the same thing this time next year. Ah well, they say it’s the thought that counts, and in this instance it’s a sentiment I am more than happy to endorse!

On the subject of New Year’s Resolutions, however, I did happen across this cartoon:


The look of wavering indifference on her face as she lifts her coffee and obviously thinks her partner (presuming it is her partner) is a complete moron is priceless. Here’s hoping 2009 will herald a greater move towards gender equality!

Comments From You

Saranga // Posted 1 January 2009 at 3:10 pm

If i make resolutions I try to keep them as simple and achievable as possible. So this year I am going to re bleach my hair to get it properly white blond, and do my utmost to negotiate a pay rise.

Aideen // Posted 1 January 2009 at 6:50 pm

I want to try and start a queer-postive, feminist Bible study in Belfast. Wish me luck!

Sophia // Posted 2 January 2009 at 12:12 pm

I’m not making one this year (last year didn’t really work out) but the BBC published an article on ‘Resolutions “bad for your health” yesterday where the charity Mind had urged people not to feel they need to “change”. (

Abby O'Reilly // Posted 2 January 2009 at 12:21 pm

Thanks for the link, Sophia. I was thinking about this yesterday, as I suppose the setting of resolutions does lead to the self-imposition of extra pressures. However, what I suppose the beginning of the year does precipitate is a period of self-reflection, and I don’t think that’s necessarily (depending on the person) a detrimental thing (providing we don’t dwell on what we have/haven’t done).

Anna // Posted 2 January 2009 at 2:53 pm

My new years resolution is the same as ever – smoke more. Attainable AND enjoyable, what more could I ask for?

John // Posted 5 January 2009 at 12:01 am

My resolution is actually to read less feminist blogs. Why? I do believe that feminism still has a number of legitimate concerns, but the way these issues are debated on feminist blogs has a tendency to make me angry and feel resented as a man for being a man which, as a consequence, leads to my being less sympathetic to feminist concerns than I think is appropriate. Since I can only control my own behaviour, I will stop reading feminist blogs in 2009.

Saranga // Posted 26 January 2009 at 5:23 pm

Well, i’ve done both my resolutions. That’ll be a first.

Jaqui // Posted 26 January 2009 at 7:19 pm

My resolution is to dull my obsession with my lecturer! That is definitely one on the agenda, along with the usuals, eat healthier, stay fit. Maybe join a caving society at my uni, i’ve always wanted to do it!

John –

Please, post elsewhere if this isn’t your style! I find myself constantly needing to hear the problems people have with feminism. Even on sites such as the F word!

Sorry for the outburst but this is the one space feminists can get away from being made to feel evil for merely wanting equality. :/

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