Skip to content

Resolutions suck

January 4, 2020

I have two choices. I can either start this year again on January 14th (the Orthodox new year) or I can admit that resolutions are stupid and resolve to give them up.

For a while, a couple of years ago, when I had a tablet that did a better job of providing alerts than its replacement, I was closely following tweets from Ian Rankin. He’s very generous in his recommendations of other (mostly, but not always Scottish) writers. As a result, I was introduced to a writer named Matt Haig.

Haig has written a number of novels, as well as multiple books about depression and anxiety. I’ve subsequently read a couple of both. I also started to follow him on Twitter. Some time ago he wrote a tweet offering three useful ways of tackling depression. It was a package deal: you needed to do all three. The first two were fairly obvious, the third (“establish a routine”) less so.

I wish I could tell you what the first two were, but I honestly don’t remember. When, a little while later, I attempted to find this particular tweet in his feed, it wasn’t there. Which was annoying, because I wanted to make a comment, a request for advice on how to establish a routine.

I know I need one. I had one for a while, a couple of years ago. Thanks to the generosity of a friend, I was able to purchase an annual membership in the local gym. I’d get up in the morning (always before 10 am), write some sort of blog entry (perhaps this was during one of my many six-week challenges), then go to the gym. Okay, it sort of stalled after that. The afternoons were a bit wide open, but in the evening I made dinner and ate it at the diningroom table, then I washed the dishes, before settling down to read (if I was lucky) or watch TV. I’d go to bed before midnight and repeat the next day.

Not an exciting routine (I’m not a bloody rock star), but there was some sort of order – or perhaps a better word would be discipline.

It hasn’t all gone completely to shit, although at times it feels as if it has. Times when, for example, I eat my dinner (which might be popcorn) in my lap in front of the telly, then sit up all or most of the night watching something on Netflix or (really bad) I sit on the sofa playing stupid fucking spider solitaire until four in the morning. Why, why, why?

The bad news finally occurred to me: I have a routine. An awful, do nothing routine. My challenge isn’t how to establish a routine. It’s how to change a routine.

So I fell into the annual trap. Be it resolved that, starting on January 1st, I will… Go to sleep at a reasonable time, get up at a reasonable time, get some exercise, eat a proper dinner at the table. Oh, and write something, no matter how banal, every day.

I did manage dinner at the table (with guests!) on New Year’s Day. And so far, so good on the writing something, no matter how banal, every day. Otherwise, I’d be batting zero.

Resolutions suck.

From → Black dog diary

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: