Returning to New Year's resolutions two months in... | Jack Marshall's column

It’s time to check-in on the old New Year’s resolutions,  those exciting, aspirational, faintly impossible, and optimistic oaths we all make. “This will be my year.”

By Jack Marshall, Reporter
Monday, 21st February 2022, 4:55 am
The classic resolution: to read more.
The classic resolution: to read more.

This will be the year to get fit and lose weight. Quit smoking and run a marathon. Learn another language or join a ballroom dance class. The year to read more and worry less. Weird how New Year’s resolutions tend to be the same ones from last year.

Running through my list of sure-to-be-life-changing ‘this-time’ resolutions and it’s already a mixed bag just two months in. That quick-out-the-blocks early enthusiasm is famously hard to maintain, but what can you do but try?

Plus, that’s the hidden beauty of New Year’s resolutions: so what if you don’t nail it by the end of January? You’ve got all year, after all. If at first you don’t succeed, rest relatively easy in the knowledge that a year is a really long time and that, by June, Christmas will still feel a really long way away.

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Let’s start with the food and drink.

This year I’ve gone back to being vegetarian for health and environmental reasons, but no one wants to hear about that so all I’ll say is that it’s been fine aside from some exceptionally weak-willed but delicious trips to kebab shops in the early hours.

On the ‘only-at-weekends’ drink front, resisting a cheeky mid-week pint whilst watching the Champions League has been hard, but not impossible. Although myself and a few friends did get Very Drunk Indeed on a Thursday night out of nowhere recently, which was Very Fun Indeed.

Fitness: five gym session a week was asking too much, as was the hilariously ambitious mantra of yoga three days a week. Oh well. What self-respecting person doesn’t stumble face-first into a kebab following a Thursday night out and miss the gym on Friday every now and again?

The most success has been on the personal challenges front. My halting Italian is coming on nicely thanks to the grumpy Duolingo owl, my mission to watch at least 150 movies this year is proving to be extremely enjoyable indeed, and my progress towards a target of 26 books is on course despite the best efforts of TikTok and Twitter.

My least tangible resolution was to follow through with plans more. Having always talked about going camping and doing hypothetically-exciting things like hiking, me and my brother bought a tent. No excuses now. Mark my words, we’ll follow through. Probably.