My Facebook is currently a running list of hundreds upon hundreds of New Year’s Resolutions.
For the last few days, I’ve trudged my way through pledges to getting fit, learning French, losing weight, finding God – of many variations – learning guitar, falling in love, growing vegetables, Tweeting less, reading more, and mastering the art of Giant Knitting (you’ll have to look that one up).
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love a fresh start as much as anyone.
I’m the queen of announcing that I’m never drinking again (whilst battling a hangover), training for a marathon (after bikini shopping), or giving myself a budget (after dropping $650 in the Sheridan outlet store).
Nothing makes me feel better than big, fat, bold, public declarations of self-improvement. It’s half the battle.
So it is without judgement that I’ve scrolled through the New Testament of 2017 resolutions across my social media.
I’ve marvelled at these little beacons of light, glimpses of the New And Improved You waving from the horizon. Glittery promises of future success. A light at the end of the festive-season-tunnel as you try to decide whether the leftover ham in the fridge is still OK to eat.
And yet, these bold New Year’s Resolutions all have one thing in common: they will probably never happen. Or, if they do, it will be after a few fails first.
So in the age of our very own 24/7 social media stage show, I reckon it’s time we stood down out of the spotlight, and hold our nuggets of self-improvement close to our heart.
Why? To give yourself a chance to actually succeed.
There are two very different types of failure.
Firstly, there’s the public kind. Usually reserved for politicians, celebrities, and contestants on Dancing With The Stars; public failure is a fall from grace that has a double impact.
Firstly, you battle your own wounded pride, but also the jeering audience pointing and laughing.
But on the other hand, there’s private failure.
Away from prying eyes, it’s less of a punch and more of a pinch to your own self-expectations. The non-televised version of missing the goal.
It’s a little secret disappointment that you roll around in your mind, softening it up, until you eventually swallow it down and learn the lesson it was there to teach.