Sunday, 2 January 2011

New Year's Resolutions (Again)

So about this time last year (it was a bit earlier, but who cares) I made a set of resolutions for 2010. I also sort of said I'd go back over them in 12 months time (i.e. about now) and see how many I utterly failed to manage. But first, obligatory webcomic:

Ok, now lets go...

Get a 2.1 or higher in the end of year exams

Fuck yeah, good start. Totally fucking nailed this one. Which is good, because this was by far a resolution I was expecting rather than hoping for. I sort of skimped out of the "or higher" part, but that doesn't matter for the answer to "did I do it or not?". One out of one so far...

Focus my time a little better, spend more of it doing what I'm actually meant to be doing

Not really. I'm not even I can squeeze this one into being a yes under the loophole of "a little better", because I'd say I might have actually potentially gotten worse at procrastinating and just totally wasting time. As reluctant as I might be to actually call it time wasted, I'd have to say that the likes of Robot Unicorn Attack and Civilization have definitely not helped matters here. So not going to con myself into thinking I've won this one.

Get back into talking to people who I've drifted out of touch with

Another nope. People who I rarely talked to are still people I rarely talk to, and if anything that list has probably grown a fair bit (as is the nature of the internet really). I can't really do much other than apologise to people I've hardly spoken to in the last twelve months, and assure you guys that for the majority at least it's nothing personal - I just don't have the time to spark up conversations with all of you and catch up.

Get me one of those woman things. Preferably a non-crazy one.

Yet again, a fail for this one. It's been another year of sexual frustration and crippling loneliness (haha, I'm just kidding - I'm totally not sexually frustrated). Though I guess I have managed to remove one crazy woman from my life for the most part, and I'm not far off making that two. So I guess that's a plus side, right? Right?

Get TAP Master M and Death Gm. Which shouldn't be that fucking hard considering I could do either this week with a lucky run.

Another fucking no. And I was so damn close with this one. Well, at least with half of it. Fuck TAP Master, because I can't stand playing that shit, but I've had like two dozen runs in the last week or two that could easily have been Death Gm runs with a bit of luck. I'm almost fucking there, but I've still gone another year because I don't really play it that much and I just ain't had the fortune for it.

Actually go to sleep when I intend to, rather than staying up on MSN, IRC and Facebook for another two hours

This is a hard one to judge, but I think I'm also going to have to stamp a FAIL on this one. It's a hard one because I sort of do go to sleep when I intend to now, but I'm pretty sure not in the way I was intending when I wrote this post. It used to be I'd aim for 1am and then end up going to bed at 3am having wasted two hours doing random shit on my laptop. Now I just intend to go to bed at 3am, and I manage it, which isn't so much an improvement as just substantially lowering the bar. Plus I still fail to go to bed at 3am often enough, so I can't really justify this one being a resolution I've kept.

Over Lent and May bumps, average out bumping more often than being bumped - not totally under my control but something to work towards anyway.

Another fail, but this wasn't my fault directly, and I'm fairly proud with how the girls did for Mays (if I'd competed in Lents I would have had blades, which is a tad irritating), so this one isn't a huge black mark. Plus we won our division for University IVs and Autumn Head so I've had some marked success on the Cam in 2010.

Get the Riichi Mahjong Society properly registered (preferably before the 2010 freshers' fair) and established as a real society.

This still hasn't happened, so I sort of have to strike this one off to, but I did write up the constitution for the society the other day, and hopefully it'll get registered next term. We do at least have a committee and stuff now. So in terms of this list, a fail, but I'm happy enough with where things are. I probably would have gotten it done last term had I not been far busier with MET than I thought I'd be.

Learn how to hold my tongue sometimes when people are being idiotic, and be a bit less abrasive.

This is a hard one to really judge, but I'm fairly sure I haven't managed it. I can still be snappy, and a douchebag, especially when it's over the internet and I'm not in a particularly great mood.

Will! says (12:38):
for some reason your appearing a lot in my news feed in a production called "Chris is tactless and unhelpful"

Though I will say in those situations I was being near enough exactly as tactless and unhelpful as I was intending to be (also, in hindsight, the best ironic comeback would have been It's spelt "you're", not "your", but I missed that witty retort at the time). I guess really my problem is that I'm amateur at all this 'being a dickhead' stuff. If I could compare to the godly level that is 27b/6 and be FUCKING HILARIOUS then maybe people wouldn't mind so much, right? So really either extreme is OK so long as I'm not in the middle too often where I'm just being a twat. Ok, maybe not.

So the final result is a scorching one out of nine resolutions passed. And not only that, but the one I actually managed was something I expected to do anyway, and I passed it at a bare minimum standard. What with it being a poor year for resolutions, I had a small think about what I actually did in 2010, with the overwhelming answer seeming to be "not much really". I think part of it is that my life has settled down a bit. I'm into a routine now at university, and at home, and there's not much that really breaks that. Plus I've finished puberty and being a teenager and all that drama and crap. I sort of am who I am now, and really I doubt I can change it all that much.

She probably won't read this, but I'll say thanks again to Helen for inviting everyone round for a New Year's party. And thanks to everyone else who was there (most of whom probably will read this) for making it a fun time. I enjoyed it and it was totally worth the epic journey to London and back in just over 24 hours to be there. Much merriment was had, and not even with that much alcohol.

So what of 2011? What are my plans, my hopes, my ambitions and dreams for the next 12 months? We shall never know, because I'm not going to bother making any. Going through the utterly shambolic debacle that has been my 2010 resolutions has just confirmed the opinion I already held that New Year's resolutions are POINTLESS and FUCKING STUPID.

I see there being two types of proper resolutions. The first type would be easy resolutions, e.g. the only one I actually managed to achieve for 2010. The sort of stuff that's going to happen anyway, regardless of whether I make it a specific goal for 2010. Those ones are utterly pointless because the fact I've made it a resolution changes nothing - I was going to try and aim and most probably get that anyway.

The second type are the hard resolutions. The ones that represent reckless naïvety and over-ambition. Major life changes and other such difficult stuff. Really, a resolution is just a confirmation of shit you'd like to change in your life. Usually stuff that if you wanted hard enough, and if it was that easy, you'd have already managed by now. The resolution changes nothing. There's a good reason why it hasn't happened already (usually that it's hard/boring/etc), and merely acknowledging the fact that you'd like it to happen really doesn't go a great deal towards actually making it happen. The reason you've never done it before is still there.

Really what you need to do is hit the extremely sleight and tiny group of resolutions precisely between types one and two. Which basically don't exist, or are pointless random things that need to fall under "I've never thought about wanting to do that before, but now I have, I guess I do want to do it and will."

The main problem with resolutions is that you usually forget them before the end of January anyway. And even if you don't, a year is way too long a deadline, especially for a student. If it's a discrete event then you can just put it off and convince yourself you'll do it later in the year. If it's some sort of continuous self-improvement program, then keeping it up for a whole 12 months just seems exceptionally far-fetched and difficult at the start, so you end up giving up anyway. If you want resolutions to actually have an impact on the way you lead your life, then not only do you need to properly believe in them and do your best to carry them out, but you also need to make them every month, or even every two weeks.

Life is a gradual process of continuous improvement. You can't magically change your life just because the Earth has reached a point in its annual journey around the Sun which we have arbitrarily defined to be the start/finish line. It's something you need to work on each and every day, not just for the 1st January and a few days after that.

There, most wishy-washy and profound thing I'll say for the entirety of 2011. Back to being a bitter, sarcastic and cynical asshole.


  1. Nothing to do with the above post, but you saw this and I was thinking of people who I know cox who aren't CUW...


  2. Yeah, I already had that through the CUCBC mailing list, though thanks for the link anyway (I've not checked the messageboards for a while actually).

    I'd probably consider going if it didn't clash completely with Downing's training camp, which I'm already going on :P

  3. Fair play! Was randomly in your boathouse yesterday - OMFG it's amazing (and much better than Christ's, obv.).