My New Year’s resolution is to embrace projects, fads and whims

In less than 12 hours time, thousands of people up and down the country will make a resolution. At the same time thousands of people up and down this country will sneer at those who have just made a resolution. Those who make ‘resolutions’ will suffer the inevitable late January blue as all of those positive resolutions come crushing down around them in a rubble of realism. Here is to how to avoid those blues whilst also skipping effortlessly around the Victor Meldrew downfalls of those who sneer at any one who tries to make a positive change in their lives.

To tackle the inevitable failure of your New Year’s Resolutions you have three options. One, don’t make any resolutions – a guaranteed way not to fail. Two, set your sights incredibly low. Don’t wish to play the piano, learn French or trek to Everest. This option allows you to resolve to walk less, or get in touch with fewer friends or to not worry about how much you smoke, all very achievable. This option, if followed through with sufficient lack of self worth, will also guarantee that you won’t fail. Finally, you could simply replace the word “resolution” (a definite decision) with the word “fad”. This is my preferred option. This last option acknowledges that what we decide won’t last more than a few weeks, a month at best, and we are happy with that. I will run a mile every day – until I get bored. I will drink a smoothy for breakfast – until it seems too much effort.  I will, at best, read the first few chapters of Dickens complete works

The “Fad” is a magical device that allows us to throw ourselves into something as if we had just made a real “resolution” whilst at the same time avoiding the inevitable disappointment when we go back to black coffee for breakfast. It allows an innocence, an enthusiasm and most of all an opportunity that neither options 1 or 2 allow. To set your sights low, or to avoid any aspiration leaves you with a pessimistic outlook that Victor Meldrew might find disheartening.

People will mock you for having “fads” but let me tell you this – we who embrace the power of the fad will be learning how to snowboard, starting to read the works of Dickens or supping a banana and mango smoothy for breakfast. It will also be us who have moved effortlessly onto our next fad by mid-February while those who make a list of resolutions sit depressed watching deal or no deal with a tub of Sainsbury’s basic ice cream on their bellies.

See this New Year’s as an opportunity to try something new and embrace it with all the enthusiasm you can muster. Don’t however be so naive as to think that now, after all these years of not getting round to it, you are going to go cold turkey on the fags, learn the piano or lose 2 stone – you’re not.

You never know, what starts out as a fad might turn into a resolution. This blog, over 2 years ago started off as my latest fad (I had got bored of swimming) – and somehow I have stuck at it. It is better to stick at a fad than to fail at to stick at a resolution.  It is time that we liberate the word ‘fad’ and embrace it with all the power and enthusiasm that it entails.

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