Cliche New Years Resolutions – do they really work?

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Every year I see hundreds of posts, messages and social media feeds about changes so many of us want to make and all the hopes we have for each year. Hundreds!

New year, new me
New year, new thinking
New year, new clothes (No Subika! No.)

And the list goes on!

But how likely is it that we’ll actually stick to them? Wouldn’t it be better relieve that pressure from ourselves and just see what the year has in store for us, instead? Why make such big plans or changes to our lives only to break them a few weeks later?

Well…I love them! All the cliche sayings, ambitions, goal setting and planning! I really love them. I’m really trying not to go down that enthusiastic positive annoying person all the time so don’t hate me…yet! As cliche as they may be, they give me inspiration to draw on my own goals and desires I hope to achieve. Everyone is different in the way they do plan but until we take full responsibility for our own lives, nothing will change -another one to add to the cliche list. It’s harsh but something I truly believe in. And until the changes do begin to appear, how about trying to ‘fake it until you make it?’ (I’ll stop soon I promise.) But it’s not about making difficult, unrealistic changes but small manageable ones. That’s the key to keeping them. (Last one below…)

So for the New Year I decided to make a list of subtle changes that could fit into things I already do. Instead of making drastic changes I’ve decided to alternate a few things:

It’s the most obvious one. Everyone’s back at the gym, everyone’s watching what they eat but how long does it last? Not that long if you start to diet, change what you eat that it’s very far removed from your usual diet. I already eat fairly healthy. Since doing so it’s improved my focus and surprisingly my desire to create more and I’ve turned it into (that buzzword) a lifestyle. Not sure if it’s made me more creative but eating healthier has kept my motivation up. I decided to cut back a bit on unhealthy grains like pasta, bread and rice this year, instead of cut them out completely. Cutting down will be easier on my digestive system, so that I can keep up the pace of writing (See the things I go through for you guys!)

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Working out regularly is something I’m a fan of and also enjoy. It helps to keep me motivated and gives me a boost of energy when I’m writing or in intensive rehearsals and keeps me positive because of the levels of endorphins that are released. Building in a high intensity workout into my existing routine means I’ll be fitter in a much quicker time and it will also mean I’ll have more time to write and take part in acting workshops. But just deciding to go for a walk after work, take the stairs instead of the lift is a subtle enough change to start seeing a difference.

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As much as I enjoy eating out (no washing up to do afterwards is such a bonus) it really helps me save money when I start to cut back on the amount of times I go out for dinner. I really can’t cut this one out completely as eating out is one of my favourite things to do, with it bringing immediate happiness and enjoyment because you’re in a new environment and surrounded by the people you really enjoy hanging out with. Plus some dinners have sparked some of the most interesting conversations I’ve had. But with bigger plans in mind, for the future, that extra cash will help me achieve that long term gratification, rather than just thinking about the short term happiness fix, which is what it’s about guys!

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Colours like neutrals, earthy tones, blacks and whites means I’ll be able to wear the same clothes again and again and save money for those all important acting classes and writing workshops. As much as I love fashion I prefer to dress in a classical way, especially when I go to the theatre, rather than wearing a trendy item that just looks wrong the following months! And it’s also another reason to stop buying clothes (I’m really telling myself this more than anyone else here.) When I’m writing or learning lines I have to do so in a really clear space. Having less items around me, as well as in my wardrobe, will mean less time spent on deciding what to wear, tidying up, becoming an expert on creating zen like feng shui and being able to pack like a boss! Which (conveniently) brings me on to the next point on my list:

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I went to a few places last year but not nearly enough. That’s because I’m an artist…duh! I’m too busy being a writer? But seriously…as an artist I’ve often been caught up with last minute work which has clashed with finding free time to go away. Even the holidays I did get to go on, were a struggle to fit into my schedule. (Busy Writer/Actor…remember?) But seeing as I had such an amazing time on the holidays I did go on and it really reset my creativity when I did find some free time (and change) to go away, I’m hoping to fit some more travel into my cliched list this year. Here’s hoping my bank balance agrees.

I’ve started to explore writing for Television (I know, going up in the world guys – or…possibly going down) and have become really passionate about a series that I’ve started, so at the moment writing everyday isn’t an unmotivated task. Even if I’m not in the flow with an idea though, I know writing everyday will eventually spark one. Even if it’s a journal entry or a draft blog post, I know it will help towards dialogue and penning that script. No matter how stuck you feel, I promise, it will help. Take a look at my youtube video on getting motivated to write and creating inspiration around an idea you have for a potential script.
But…I’ve been there. I’ve gone for months at a time without having any idea what I’m going to write about next. But you know what…that’s ok (cue emotional music) Sometimes there’s an underlying reason as to why the creative juices just aren’t flowing. But, not to worry! We live in 2019 now and we have so many resources surrounding us. The Internet and free (but few) libraries just to name a few. I keep hope that these resources will eventually spark that creative mind. Resources like:

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Books! And not social media or the internet or even a kindle but real books. I don’t just want to read everyday, I’m aiming to tailor my reading around the relevance of my work as an artist as I believe it will really help inspiration when it comes to solid ideas for plays.

So that’s my list of cliche things I’d like to achieve in 2019! It felt like it was a rant to myself more than gentle advice and sharing of my new lifestyle choices. Apologies. And you’re probably thinking, why haven’t you written something along the lines of ‘spend more time with family and friends’. or maybe you’re not thinking that. You’re just happy to be almost at the end of this blog! Well, well don you for reading this far and thank you. But now that you are thinking why I haven’t put the usual narrative about friends and family, that’s that’s because I’ve been living with my family for the past 10 years!! Being from an Asian background, families all tend to live in the same home in the East in comparison to western culture.

Not that it’s the same for every single household when it comes to tradition and culture. Everyone does things differently. More and more young people from cultural backgrounds that carry similar traditions go on to live independently because of the goals and ambitions they wish to achieve. My Mum, however, loves me being at home and with things being so easy I got myself into a very comfortable routine. But…things are soon to change. Making small adjustments can mean room for at least one drastic change? Watch this space…