Fed Up Of The Failure Porn Around New Years Resolutions? Me too.

It is cliché to set new years resolutions, mainstream even and, considering the way we treat most anything mainstream, it follows that a kind of counter-culture would inevitably spring up. It seems this year to be in the form of failure porn.

I’ve seen it repeated everywhere, the kind of new year, same me mantra followed by a variety of additives: because I’m a fucking legend or because I am already great. The internet is replete with memes created according to this line of thinking and it seems to me that there is much more of the ‘failure is cool as well as unavoidable’ aesthetic being touted this year round.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to remain the same person you were in 2018 however the blanket dismissal that new years resolutions seem to be receiving at the moment appears to be less about self-love and acceptance and more about raging against the ever present presence of bettering oneself. People are fed up it seems with feeling forced to follow self-inflicted hardships.

New years resolutions are a victim of the very idea they promote: out with the old, in with the new.

The new is to dig your heels into what you did in 2018 and convince yourself it was good enough and you are some sort of champion, bolstered by the fact that your thinking has gone viral.

The problem with all this is that new years resolutions are rarely bad. Most no-one makes a list of things that will actively disimprove their life. When one sits down to write out these new year goals they are full of wishful thinking and speak of hopes and desires unfettered by a daily grind or the impossibility of finances. The more mundane resolutions whisper of possibility and of small changes that are as important to the writer as the more outlandish ones. Each deserves attention and respect.

While it may be a fact that resolutions are unlikely to survive why complain against the making of them in the first place? Even if you fail your resolutions the time you took to think about what your ideal year would look like is more than worthwhile. You’ll know what causes you difficulty, what – in fact – no longer holds any sway for you, what matters to you and what doesn’t and how hard it might be to achieve that which you really want.

What is not to like about that?

Running down the act of making new year resolutions is to misunderstand the act completely. What is important is not whether you fail or succeed but that you’ve taken a moment with yourself to put on paper what you think you’d like to do or be a year from now. Ostensibly failing one does not take away from the act of sitting down with yourself to understand your vision for both yourself and the year ahead.

Indeed, failing a resolution shouldn’t be used as evidence that the whole institution is as fault but rather as a way of taking stock of what matters to you and whether or not what you thought you wanted was more Instagram- culture generated or generated from an authentic sense of self. Either way, failing tells you as much about yourself – if you allow it to – as success does. Being anti-resolutionist because the goals are destined to fail also reveals the extent to which society still fails (no pun intended) to see failure as something positive.

It is laughable that people write off making resolutions but then back yoga and meditation and any aspect of the wellness juggernaut that promotes introspection and self-awareness. The mantras around yoga are so much about knowing yourself and getting in touch with who you are and the path that you are on and will no doubt be headed our way this year, as ever. The language is different sure but the act of resolution making is very, very similar. The problem maybe is that resolutions are hard to photograph in Bali and while you can get out of a pose, you cannot not always hide from yourself when you’ve messed up in something that you’d quite like to be good at.

Is it because new years resolutions are popular, are cliché, are kitsch that so many want to be seen to be on the opposing side? Failure is not a reason not to try and better yourself nor is it a negative thing. Anything that gives you pause for thought about how you’d like to see your life and yourself in twelve months time shouldn’t be dismissed for being difficult, uncool, unnecessary or the preserve of the eternal dreamer rather than the doer.

Give those of us who think we know what we want in 2019 a break. There you go: resolution number one.

 

Interesting reading!

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/01/youre-going-to-fail-your-new-years-resolution-but-it-might-not-be-your-fault

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/01/heres-how-to-crack-your-new-years-resolutions

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Fed Up Of The Failure Porn Around New Years Resolutions? Me too.

  1. Thanks for pointing this out. There will always be those who, for one reason or another, want to hold you back and keep you the same. When you listen to that kind of “advice” you are giving a great deal of power and control over your life to those people. Become who you want to be, live your true calling!

    Richard Yadon | http://www.RichardYadon.com

    Liked by 1 person

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