Bridget Jones. (Pic: Miramax)
Bridget Jones. (Pic: Miramax)

Why I’m still committed to resolutions

IT was around this time last year that I decided I was going to run a half-marathon in 2017.

I'd just completed my first 10 kilometre run and felt certain that a higher, harder-to-reach goal was just what I needed to keep me inspired during the year that was set to come.

A full marathon struck me as too arduous, too boring. Who wanted to run for longer than the extended screening time of Titanic? Not me. A half-marathon was more palatable, more achievable. More … humble.

And so at some point around that moment, I decided that despite having never had any success with New Year's Resolutions before and generally not believing in them, that this year to keep my running goal company, I would add a few more completely achievable ambitions to the mix. Because when you have a full-time job and a penchant for re-watching Downtown Abbey on repeat, you know what you need? More goals, that's what.

So, in addition to becoming East Melbourne's Caster Semenya, I decided that 2017 would also be the year that I would also lose five kilograms, write my first book, and learn basic-level German. Not because I had imminent plans to visit Germany or wanted to read an as yet untranslated text, but simply because I'd read that learning a second language was good for the brain. I'm nothing if not delusionally ambitious, right?

The year started well ... ish. I did start writing what may one day become a book and took a couple of runs around The Tan. I learned that "frau" means woman and "herr" means man, and dropped from eight pieces of Top Deck chocolate a night down to four.

But due to unforeseen life circumstances like starting a new job, a family member becoming ill, having a crippling bout of breakthrough anxiety for the better part of three months, and Hulu releasing The Handmaid's Tale, writing swiftly fell off my wagon. As did running, sprechening sie deutsch, and channelling my Elle Macpherson dreams into a physical reality. As John Lennon once said, life's what happens when you're busy making plans. Or in my case, overplanning.


And now here we are, all but two days away from the New Year and not one of my resolutions from the start of the year has come to pass. But lots of other things did.

I moved house and managed to avoid the temptation to physically assault the removalists who were mishandling my book boxes in the process.

I fractured my wrist in three places and managed to convince myself for a full two days that it was merely a sprain and that I was simply imagining the pain - truly a win for my willpower.

Someone asked me to marry them, and for once it wasn't a questionable stranger on the street, but rather someone I quite fancy. He even bought a ring and got on one knee.

I saw not one, but two musicals, and incredibly, didn't claw my eyes out at either one. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I enjoyed at least one of them in its entirety.

I turned 30 and managed not to cry about the trajectory of my life or the impossibility of ever entering the current housing market on a writers wage.

I've kept 14 indoor houseplants alive and mastered the art of cooking a fish whole.

I brought home an eight week old puppy and have managed to keep her alive and well for a full five months. She's harder work than the Youtube videos prepared me for (she particularly enjoys knocking over bottles of wine and trying to eat dead possums) but she's also a lot of fun (who do you think cleans up that red wine? Joking. Joking.)

When the aforementioned breakthrough anxiety tried to destroy me, I put years of hard-learned principles into practice by seeing my GP, priotising sleep, taking some leave and focussing on doing things every day that would help me through until it passed.

As per every other year, my interest in fitness was brief. (Pic: Bridget Jones)
As per every other year, my interest in fitness was brief. (Pic: Bridget Jones)

I only got so drunk I vomited three times this year; truly a step up from the days of my 20s gone by.

I managed to consume an entire cheese pizza in one sitting (probably where that five kilogram goal was lost) and managed to wear pants every time I answered the door to a Deliveroo courier.

I bushwalked on multiple occasions and paid every single electricity bill on time, damn it.

In other words, I adulted like I've never adulted before.

With all of this in mind, you'd think that I'd be a little more reserved with making resolutions for the year that is yet to come, that I'd know better. But no, no, the list is back and just as grand as before.

I still think I can run that half-marathon in 2018. And I'd still like to write that book, or at the very least, keep chipping away at it. I might not lose five kilograms or ever be able to decry "Ich bin ein Berline" with the confidence of a Kennedy, but I'm mostly okay with that.

And sure, I may be back in this exact spot next year repeating the same thing - though I doubt I'll be lucky enough to score a second marriage proposal - but I might also might not be.

Come this time next year, I could be one of those people who can crow about setting a new personal best running time or doing a #humblebrag post about my book deal. I could be posting selfies from the beach or reading Nietzsche in his native tongue. Scrap that, those last two will never happen, even if I am a bilingual woman with a six-pack.

But that's part of the fun of resolutions; you never know which ones you'll actually achieve and which ones you'll realise were utterly ridiculous. Unless it's shooing your dog away from spilt wine - that's a safe bet for years to come.

Katy Hall is a RendezView writer and producer.


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