No Pressure, it’s Only January!

There are just a few days of January left and I have to admit, I’ll be glad to see the back of it. It is always such an intense time with all kinds of ridiculous promises to wipe the slate clean and be more virtuous. Whatever we were up to the previous year, it must have been wrong/sinful and we must repent. Women especially are scrutinised on all fronts and undergo a barrage of ‘advice’ from so-called women’s magazines – Horrible things that are without exception, be the theme, style, parenting or homes and gardens designed to torment women, to fill us with shiny examples of how to be better selves and to crush our spirits when we’re not living up to their standards, (standards which are only achievable if you happen not to be a real human woman, but a Stepford resident with a limitless disposable income). January is the magazine mecca of unwanted guidance in everything from your paperwork, to the colour of your cushions to your sex life.

Simultaneously, we are told to “ditch your usual resolutions to be healthy” and to “make realistic goals, like to lose 5 pounds per month.”

Sounds like a trap to me. But since I live in a metric society, luckily I have no idea what they’re talking about.

But fellow women, January demanded a lot of us and as a parting shot before we can all stop boring the pants off each other trying to be perfect, I have put together a list of the classic prototype resolutions that we are told to make, resolutions that we can have a good sneer at as we turn our backs on all this nonsense for another year! Ha!

Don’t promise to go to the gym every day, instead keep your fitness regime “fresh and exciting”

Don’t expect the new career to happen straight away, tell yourself instead “I’m going to get a job that’s on the right trajectory for what I want to ultimately do.” (if you know what your ‘trajectory’ is – otherwise forget it, you’re 38 and still don’t know – there’s no helping you!)

Develop a positive attitude, make specific commitments to being a better person.

Don’t say ‘don’t’, try saying “please be kind to your sister” instead.

Teach your kids by example. Volunteer five hours a week at a local soup kitchen.

Have more fun! Don’t forget to do the things you love. Schedule some time to treat yourself! (in other words – do normal stuff on your own once in a while, like have a bath, then make sure to feel super-grateful to everyone for allowing you such an indulgence.)

Go domestic. Keep on top of the laundry basket and chores. A clean home environment will help your children thrive.

Round up your best friends and organise a fun weekend away or a day at the spa for no other reason than ‘just because’!

Cook from scratch 3 times a week. You will cut down on processed saturated fats, salt and sugar without trying. You might just develop a fun new hobby while you’re at it! (and think of the fun you’ll have when your kids refuse to take a single bite of the roast vegetable polenta it’s just taken 2 hours to prepare!)

Make resolutions that you enjoy, so that you can stick to them easily. Make time for your own hobbies. (Hobbies?! Sorry no idea what you’re talking about)

Stop saying “wait a minute”. Make a point of listening to your children every day. If you listen to them now, they will talk to you when it’s something important.

Reduce your stress levels with a regular yoga class (or try not having a three-year old hanging off your leg screaming – also very zen!)

Learn to stop being a mummy all the time. Make sure there’s still some of ‘you’ left to share with your partner. (What am I? A bag of licorice allsorts?)

Never neglect your skin! Cleanse, tone and moisterise everyday to defy the wrinkles and keep your skin energised!

Turn off your smart phones. Reduce your screen time. When you’re at home, make yourself available to your kids.

Go green. Instead of greeting cards, teach your children how to design e-cards or digital slide shows as thank you letters and birthdays cards.

Vary your diet. Resolve to try a new recipe every week.

Eat together as a family.

Don’t stress about mealtimes. Be relaxed about food.

Smile more! If you catch yourself frowning or stressed, try to let it go and smile. (Otherwise known as ‘fake it’. Should I pop a quick valium while I’m at it, in case I offend anyone with my gross ‘unwomanly’ ways?)

Read with the kids everyday. Reduce TV time. (unless of course this is the only way you can keep them quiet while you’re pursuing new hobbies or experimenting with varied healthy non-processed recipes in the kitchen, or unless you’ve taken off for a day at the spa, ‘just because’!)

Get organised! Make index cards for each member of the family and stick them to the fridge! (While they’re all watching telly I suppose)

Make your dreams a reality.

Finish that book!

Stop thinking and start doing!

And above all relax. Let go of your expectations. Learn to love and accept yourself.

And that’s it! Easy – I certainly had no problem following all this ‘helpful’ advice – how about you?

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