My list of New Year anti-resolutions

Christmas is over and we find ourselves hurtling uncontrollably towards the New Year.  Of course, this gives us time to pause and reflect on everything we accomplished (or didn’t) in the year that’s just passed and set our sights on what we want to achieve for the coming one.  

Every year, come 1 January, thousands of people make “resolutions”.  Instead of making resolutions, I am setting some anti-resolutions.  Instead of striving for more, I’m trying to eliminate the unnecessary from my life. Here’s what I’m hoping to stop doing in 2019.

“It’s not the daily increase, but the daily decrease.  Hack away at the unessential.” – Bruce Lee

Forget about that elusive “6-pack”

Perhaps, unlike most, I have never actually resolved to “get fit” or “work out more” – luckily for me, I’ve always been quite active and usually do not have a motivation problem when it comes to physical activity.

One thing, however, that I need to focus on in 2019 is to stop being so concerned about how my fitness (and my body) measures up to others.  Thanks the media, internet and everywhere else pictures get published, we are bombarded almost daily with images of so-called fitness models with tight butts and ripped abs. I am not sure about everyone else, but I find these pictures highly demotivating as, although I have been involved in sport for most of my life and gone to the gym religiously since 2004, I have never looked like this:

Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash
Disclaimer: Not my body  (Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash)

As the saying goes “you get fit at the gym, you lose weight in the kitchen” and although I am by no means overweight, unfortunately for me, I like all the good things life has to offer – bread, cheese, beer, bacon, pasta (the list goes on…..).  The odds are stacked against me and I am not prepared to give up life’s pleasures in order to have a bikini-worthy body.  I don’t even own a bikini, so what’s the point anyway?

Megan eating cheese
I love cheese.  This is me munching on a lovely block of Brie

Instead, I am going to just carry on like I have in the past with a few tiny adjustments.  I will attend a yoga class once a week.  I will rotate between light and high-intensity workouts three times a week.  In order to be kind to my already dodgy knees, I’m removing running from my routine completely.  Two weeks ago I tried wall-climbing for the first time and I loved it. Although I cannot afford to become a member of the club, I’m aiming to climb once a month in the coming year.

Wallclimbing
My new favourite thing – wall-climbing!

Stop worrying so much about “healthy eating”

All through my childhood I recall hearing mom say that we should “eat like a rainbow”.  Every night we had a home-cooked meal which included a portion of protein, a carbohydrate and a minimum of 2 different vegetables.  There was always a bowl of apples and bananas on the kitchen counter and we were lucky enough to have a peach, apricot and plum tree growing in the garden.  Takeaways, fizzy cold drinks and fruit juice were luxuries, not the norm…  And we never got a whole slab of chocolate or packet of chips to ourselves – these were split equally between 5 people.

Once I’d moved out on my own, these eating habits were well and truly ingrained.  In fact, so much so, that I think that over the course of the entire 2018, Mrs Megamalist and I had takeaways only 3 or 4 times – and when we did, we found them wildly disappointing.  We seem to prefer sticking to homemade meals – some of which are faster to make than takeaways anyway!

Homemade prawns & salad
Prawns in garlic-lemon butter with salad and lightly toasted bread
Homemade pasta dish
Delightful tomato and aubergine sauce on homemade pasta

I have my eating habits questioned a fair amount – there are so many popular “diets” which are “better for your health” floating around and people seem to enjoy telling me that…  So, here’s my reply to those who have a problem with what I consume:  I “eat for me” and while I suppose there is always room for improvement, I think I’m doing ok in terms of my current food choices.  I’m human though, and we all need crumpets from time to time.

Public holiday crumpets
Every public holiday is “Crumpet Breakfast Day”

Stop reading the news

Honestly, this is not exactly a new anti-resolution – I have been doing it for a year already and have found it extremely liberating.

Attention is the new “currency” and every piece of information we come across is vying for it.  Sensationalist headlines, click-bait and adverts disguised as valuable content abound everywhere you look.

Regardless of which country you live in, it appears to me as though proper, impartial reporting has given way to the lust for “clicks” and “website traffic”.  Every article is a prophet of impending doom, thrusting readers into frenzied panic – a cycle that is then perpetuated by the negativity and bitterness of news consumers who sit and moan about “the state of things” until the next panic-inducing headline hits the front page.

Photo by Elijah O'Donnell on Unsplash
Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash

In the course of my news-fast there are a few things I have noticed:

  • I catch the news headlines on the radio once a day on the way to work and it’s enough to keep me in the loop
  • I have drastically reduced my personal negativity relating to current events
  • There is very, very little in the world that we have control over, so getting worked up about the shenanigans of some politician is pointless and a waste of energy
  • I have not yet died from lack of information – in fact, the quality of my mindset is a lot better

Obviously I try to be realistic about the whole thing…  Don Miguel Ruiz once stated that “We only see what we want to see; we only hear what we want to hear. Our belief system is just like a mirror that only shows us what we believe”.   Ignoring so-called negative news doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. But then again, pretending like nothing positive ever happens is just as ridiculous.  I will continue to aim for balance in 2019!

And on that note, I’d love to hear your resolutions (both the regular and “anti” variety) – let me know in the comments below.  I wish you all a wonderful New Year – may the road rise up to meet you… and all that jazz!

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