I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. Just like Santa Claus they defy the laws of the universe. When we write a list of New Year’s Resolutions, we are often as not drawing up a list of things that won’t happen. This is nothing to do with will-power or lack of it. Nor is it because those resolutions are poorly chosen. It has entirely to do with day length and climate (so this post probably does not apply in Australia or New Zealand).
Human beings are not designed to get up earlier, work harder or eat less on some of the shortest, darkest days of the year when it is more likely to rain than not, and the winds routinely approach 30 or 40mph. As a gardener I know this is the time to be planning what I’ll be doing with my garden when the days are longer and the weather kinder.
So my advice would always be to make a hot drink, snuggle up in your favourite blanket and make a list (if you must) of things you would like to undertake starting on March 21st (which of course is the Spring Equinox). Or better still do some day-dreaming. It is our dreams that move us forward. Those goals in the far distance give meaning to our lives. I would like to live as long as my father (he is now nearly 94), but I would prefer to be in better health at 94 than he is (though I also hope to be as happy as he is!). I am thinking of maybe moving up north when I retire to be closer to my sisters. These are dreams – or goals – which may help me decide which seeds to sow on March 21st, when the day is once again as long as the night, and the daylight will illumine my dreams and plans and yes any resolutions I may have decided on in the intervening weeks.
So put away your notebook and pen and start dreaming.