Let’s Ditch The Resolutions Already

After a month of festivities and a relaxed approach to everything around Christmas, January can feel like a punch in the teeth. You’ve been happily riding your bike when you please (and not when you don’t), munching on whatever you fancy, watching mindless rubbish on the TV if you get the notion and just generally enjoying being yourself without overthinking anything.

All of a sudden, that’s no longer appropriate or good enough. ‘New Year, New You’ shouts every magazine on the stand, urging you to look deeply within and analyse every fibre of your being before committing to make changes that are most likely to be difficult. Surely, if those changes weren’t important enough to make previously they needn’t assume such enormous significance just because it’s the first month of the year?

As someone who enjoys cycling for many reasons but notably the sense of wellbeing and positivity it brings, I find New Year’s Resolutions annoying. There you are, happily freewheeling along when all of a sudden the rug is pulled from under your feet. It’s a cruel trick to play in one of the darkest, coldest months, a time where you’re most likely to be skint and may not be overly enthusiastic about going back to work.

 

 

With epic bad timing, resolutions seem designed to make you feel inadequate. There’d be no need for a New You if there wasn’t anything wrong with the old you, would there? Fashion, the media and cultural trends subtly influence so much of the way we feel about ourselves no matter how much we want to remain unaffected, from how we should look, how we should behave and what we should consider important all the way through to what we should eat and how we should be exercising (including which body parts to focus on!). It’s in brands and (some) media outlets self interest to perpetuate the myth that you’re not good enough as it creates a cycle of desire for products, services and information.

We must resist this manipulation. There’s nothing wrong with the old you (unless of course you’re Donald Trump or a criminal). In my opinion, the long winter months should be a time to make yourself feel good by whatever means necessary, not a period in which to berate yourself. It should be a time to look outward and gather rewarding experiences rather than navel gaze, whether that’s braving the chill for a crisp morning ride or cuddling up on the sofa with your cats and a cup of hot chocolate. It’s a time to be acceptant, of yourself and of others; not a time to find fault with everything that is you.

 

 

The New Year is, however, good for one kind of self-reflection, a minor change that is only positive and in no way critical of oneself. As the year comes to an end and the new one begins I like to cast my mind back over the last twelve months and remember all the things I’ve done, the places I’ve been and the new things I’ve tried. Whilst reminiscing about the experiences and looking through my blog and videos I make a mental note of the things I enjoyed the most. And I notice if there were any that were a bit ‘meh;’ slightly tedious or underwhelming.

 

Photos: ASSOS

For me, some of the highlights were weekends with friends when the emphasis was just on having fun with no ‘goal,’ like the time I went mountain biking with Anna Glowinski in Cornwall or rode my motocross bike with my friend Gemma and the girls from VC London. I also realised how much I enjoy Sportives and climbing mountains, riding bikes just for the fun of it. At the other end of the spectrum, fixed gear crit racing, a very goal oriented practice remains a real highlight.

So what I like to do at the start of the year is just make a decision to do more of the things I enjoy in the next twelve months. Imagining all the fun stuff you’re going to do is a really good way to bring a smile to your face, making for a positive start to the year. I also like to take some time to really appreciate my health, my life and the people in it and realise how fortunate I am. Then I give myself a big pat on the back and tell myself ‘you’re doing alright!’

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Comments (14)
  1. doug tosten January 9, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Nice read J, I’m with you, I will have to say since I started riding bicycles this is a different group of people. A GREAT group of people. I’ve always ridden motorcycles, motocross, and roadraced pro. Most of my old racing friends are riding bikes again but with pedals!
    I wish I’d have started this earlier to tell you the truth.
    Thanks for sharing and be safe out there!
    I just want to ride my bike!
    Doug

    • Juliet_Elliott January 17, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      Hey Doug, nice to hear you’re enjoying it. Funnily enough, I just started riding motocross and wish I’d done that earlier. It’s never too late to try something new though, eh? Have fun on the bikes!!

  2. Andrei Martinaș January 9, 2018 at 11:41 am

    I agree wholeheartedly, gave up the whole new year new me/resolution BS a few years ago. I’ll just try to enjoy myself, if I can do more training then great, if not, that’s ok too (within limits of course 😃).
    Good reading and have a satisfying new year.

  3. mm_webb January 9, 2018 at 12:59 pm

    Great read this will be my mantra this year me thinks…thanks for taking the time!

  4. Shane January 9, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    ‘you’re doing alright!’… great post, I couldn’t agree more! Enjoy the New Year and pack it full of fun and adventure. Cheers

  5. Paul January 9, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    Top stuff Juliette 👍

  6. Douglas Vlad January 10, 2018 at 12:15 am

    I don’t do resolutions, but since it is the start of a of a New Year. I’m reflecting on stuff that I have gone through in my life, and things that I want to cover. Also I will be celebrating turning 60 in a few months. Following you and other cyclists on social media definitely made me look back at the things that I loved about cycling. One of my favorites was climbing on my road bike. And I’m going to work at it so I can get the good feelings back again. Thanks for being a influencing person. You are very cool

    • Juliet_Elliott January 17, 2018 at 2:07 pm

      Hey Douglas, New Year is definitely a good time to figure out what’s important. The long, dark nights give plenty of time for reflection whereas in summer I don’t stop for a second to breath and think. Glad you’re enjoying following what I’m doing, hope you get back what you’re missing and have a wonderful birthday

  7. Al January 13, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Loved your post: looking back and celebrating rather than looking forward to berate: brilliant!

    • Juliet_Elliott January 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks Al. I’m always aiming to keep things positive. It doesn’t work all the time but it’s a good target to have.

  8. Will January 16, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    I got to agree that the same typical new years goals do get boring but goal setting outside the box is always a positive thing.

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