real life

Maz Compton: "Forget New Year's Resolutions. Set yourself a 'theme' instead."

New Year is just around the corner. What are you doing? What are you wearing? Will you steal a kiss at midnight and seal the moment into your brain forever? Or will it be a night best forgotten?

Over the next few days, this will most likely be the series of questions fired at you:

What did you get for Christmas? In fact, what day is it? And finally, what’s your New Year’s resolution?

So, what is your New Year’s resolution:

  • Sign out of Snapchat or sign up to Spanish lessons?
  • lose weight or find love?
  • stop eating animals or buy a French bulldog puppy and call him Willis?
  • quit your job or start that online candle business?

Let’s be honest: most of you won’t start the resolution, unless you’re Matt Corby, for a least a week. And if you’re like me, you just can’t start something midway through the month or not on a Monday.

Then that becomes the excuse you use for not getting the resolution off the ground, because you didn’t start it at the start. Or you’ll launch the ‘new you’ on Feb 1, which is better than not at all.

With New Year's Eve comes the pressure of resolutions. (iStock)

Life does get in the way of starting something fresh. To then make it into a lifestyle for yourself, instead of a hot-headed on-trend knee-jerk keeping up with the crowd flash-in-the-pan brain snap idea, takes a lot of hard work. And we are already working hard at working hard, and more hard work is just more hard work, am I right?

The only New Years resolution I have stuck to was ‘to not drink for a while’, and that was two years ago on Jan 1 2015, so I am nailing that. The rest of the NYRs were more like goals — travel more, learn the trapeze, buy a jet ski.

Are you allowed to have more than one New Year's resolution? Like, can you have a list? I really like lists. I write them all the time. It drives my fiancé nuts but I am a lists person. A New Year's list would work better for me than one main ‘thing’, because I love the sense of achievement you get when you tick something off it.

  • Lose two kilos
  • Don’t eat grains
  • Write a book
  • 10,000 steps a day
  • Buy dishwasher tablets and a whisk

Listen to our very special chat with Maz Compton on the No Filter podcast. (Post continues after audio.)

This is the grey area, because To Do lists are like goals lists, really, and I’m going through a ‘question everything I’ve been taught’ type phase. So I’m really not sure if man landed on the Moon and I don’t know how effective goal setting actually is and why successful people don’t do it, apparently (according to the Internet, which of course is 100% correct).

The other thing with lists is — and I'm sure I’m not the only 'lists person' who sometimes does this — I add something that's a sure thing. Like 'Go to the gym' when I’ve just been, or 'Call Shaz' when I’ve just left a voicemail.


Trying to figure out how set active goals, rather than just write a list of stuff you have mostly already done because ticking something off a list gives you a sense of achievement (even though you were doing it anyway) is where I'm at with the whole goals/lists scenario. And it doesn’t bring me any closer to New Year's resolution.

In any case, all the stuff you’re too afraid to write down stays off the list, because it turns out you're just as afraid of failure as you are of success, so you end up with just a list of stuff you’ve pretty much done. Including the vacuuming. So this is my resolve. (Post continues after gallery.)

I give each year a theme. It’s like a lens or a filter than I honour in every decision that I make. It’s probably best explained by way of example.

My theme for 2016 was C L E A N.  We just touched on my mild obsession with vacuuming, but that’s not the clean I am talking about (even though I seriously love vacuuming, so much so I bought my fiancé a dust buster for Christmas. He’s been harassing me to get one but I didn’t want to become the ‘appliances couple’ — it’s a slippery slope, we already have a Soda Stream and I felt the dust buster is a gateway appliance, but I caved and I don’t regret the purchase).


C L E A N was all about getting my head straight, my body right and my spirit man centered. I’ve battled with a negative voice in my head for many years and it pipes up the most when things don’t go according to that rock solid and perfect plan I had on January 1. I think a lot of people struggle with this voice.

Maz and her fiancé. Image via Instagram.

At the end of 2015 I faced one of the toughest tests of my integrity to date. Losing my job had me questioning my career choice, my ability, my likability and my purpose. That’s when that negative voice became really loud. I wanted to learn how to shut tit out. One of my favourite sayings is ‘thoughts become things, choose the good ones,’ and so I challenged myself to choose C LE A N thoughts.

As I have a mind-body-spirit connection approach to life, I believe one influences the other. Again, choosing C L E A N food to fuel my body, C L E A N living choices like staying off the booze, and a morning daily devotion made me feel C L E A N each day inside and out.

As much as possible, I made choices to align myself with the theme of C L E A N. This included unsubscribing from some friendships and Twitter feeds fuelled by gossip and lies.


The result has been a clean, healthy and positive outlook, inner monologue and daily footprint in 2016. And now a new year is upon us and a new theme is due.

Watch: A few simple techniques to keep yourself relaxed. (Post continues after video.)

I haven’t chosen my theme just yet, but here are some thought starters for you:


One of my besties chose style for his word. He made more stylish attire choices and he’s quite dapper no; he held himself with grace a style during challenges and up and downs, including a break up; and in the midst of a personal crises he remained calm and rational. Very stylish indeed.


A friend of mine chose to flirt with new ideas, with new ways of thinking. She had more fun being a mum, she rose up to more challenges with a cheekier sense of self and let herself be more free in her work and home life. Flirt was all about having a bit more fun and letting her hair down (even though she had the perfect blonde bombshell pixie haircut).


One person I heard speak at a Leadership Conference chose this theme and I love it. It’s all about doing things unconventionally, taking dreams hostage and stomping them into submission, surprising people, thinking differently, attacking problems with a new approach, and not caring what anyone thinks.

A good way to come up with your word is to determine the kind of person you want to become. It goes beyond just being healthier and fitter in a year from now. It speaks more about your character and the condition of your heart. Identify the characteristics of that person and then choose your word.

Best wishes for 2017.

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