Deirdre Reynolds talks to the stars who’ve waved goodbye to resolutions and said hello to a new way of life.
JUST eight per cent of Irish people will keep their New Year’s resolution for the next 12 months. Yet more than half of us persist in making one year after year anyway.
From losing weight to finding love, the tradition of turning over a new leaf on January 1st dates right back to biblical times.
Unlike the Babylonians, however, who made promises to their gods at the start of each year to pay off their debts, most of us can’t even make it to February without caffeine or chocolate.
“One of the problems is when people attach their resolutions and their outcomes to their personal worth as a human being,” says Cork-based life coach Ursula O’Connell. “Or they set goals that are unattainable. It’s a form of self-sabotage.”
Journalling is just one of her top tips for making your last ever New Year’s resolution this Sunday.
But you don’t even have to wait until then to turn your life around, she adds: “You can make a resolution any day of the week.
“Once it’s in alignment with your greater goal in life, you will get there. It’s natural to have wobbles throughout the year.
“The important thing is not to let it rock your boat so far that it takes you off track.”
Here we chat to well-known people who’ve said goodbye to New Year’s resolutions and embraced a new way of life, changing one step at a time.
TAKE UP YOGA - Lottie Ryan, 2fm’s showbiz reporter:
“When it comes to resolutions my motto would be not to give things up and more to be take on things. I’m a big believer that life is too short to be giving stuff up, so last year I took on yoga. I’m absolutely delighted that I did because I’ve become kind of obsessed with it. My schedule can be quite all over the place. The great thing about yoga is that you can do a drop-in class, which suits me perfectly.
“January is a good time of year to set yourself new challenges. But I think it’s important to allow yourself the luxury of not feeling bad about falling off the wagon either. Not every week is going to be the same. Sometimes you’ve loads of time to do these things and sometimes work will take over. For me, writing it down is one good way to get back on track when life gets in the way.
“On the front page of my 2016 diary, I’ve got a list of intentions I was putting out there for the year to come, with yoga top of the list. Now and again, when I look back at that page, it reminds me not to let it slip — or to get back into it if I have. As well as being great for the body, I find yoga great for the mind. Sometimes I even fall asleep at the end of the class! I haven’t braved a Bikram class yet. My brother is big into it, and swears by it, so maybe I’ll do that in the new year.”
GET FIT - Glenda Gilson, TV3’s Xposé presenter:
“Over Christmas, you always end up going out a lot and eating and drinking too much. By the time January comes, I’m ready to jump on the health bandwagon. I absolutely hate exercising but about four years ago I resolved to get fit for once and for all. I got into a routine and started going to the gym twice a week. Although it’s only an hour, it’s like, ‘Please just get me through this’. It’s a bit like being back at school watching the clock. Once the hour’s up though, and I get out of there, I feel so much better.
“Forget about the fitness and what it does for your body, I think working up a sweat in the gym is good for your head. Especially during January, which I find quite a depressing month.
“I am lucky to be naturally slim. But I can’t overindulge all the time either. Unfortunately, I’m addicted to chocolate. My older brother has the same build as me so I’m always watching him to see if he’s getting a belly!
“If you’re thinking of starting at the gym this new year, my advice is to treat yourself to a new outfit. I know it sounds lame, but something as simple as having a new pair of trainers can really motivate you to get out and do something.”
LOSE WEIGHT - Ronan Collins, RTÉ Radio 1 presenter:
“At 6ft 1in, I was always a big bloke. The most conscious thing that I ever did in terms of a New Year’s resolution was I said I was going to lose weight. Now I’m five and a half stone lighter than I was at my heaviest about 12 years ago. Basically, I just started walking at a brisk enough pace. I started at 20 minutes and ended up being able to walk for well over an hour. Then I worked on my eating habits and I changed them.
“At the beginning of the regime, I had a big weight loss. I lost two stone in the first year. After that, I just chipped away at it. Since losing the weight, I’m feeling so much better. For years and years, I always wore double-breasted jackets to try and disguise my size. Now I wear tight jeans like a young fella!
“Giving something up is very good for focusing the mind. If you’re thinking of making a change in your life I think the beginning of the year is a good time to do it because other people are in the same boat. At the same time, I never told anybody I was doing it - and would never have done Operation Transformation.
“If you succeed it’s great, but there’s always the possibility you’ll fail. I’ve been very lucky that as I’ve lost the weight I haven’t put it back on. But I still start off every year thinking that I’m going to lose more weight.”
The Ronan Collins Reeling in the Showband Years show takes place at the Cork Opera House on 28th & 29th January 2017.
DECLUTTER - Lisa Cannon, TV3’s Saturday AM and Sunday AM presenter:
“One New Year’s resolution that I’ve actually managed to stick to is decluttering. I used to be a major hoarder but I’ve turned my hoarding skills around. Now I try to do a big clear out every new year. At the moment, I have a big box of clothes and handbags and shoes ready to go. Most of it ends up going to Oxfam or the recycling bin. But if my friends are coming up for a coffee they’ll have a rummage too.
“When it comes to decluttering, I’m pretty ruthless. Unless it’s really, really special, if I haven’t used it in the past two years, it’s gone. That goes for all those old cups and bowls cluttering up the kitchen cupboards too. Most of us have way too much stuff.
“One tip if you’re away for Christmas is to come back and look at your house with fresh eyes. Keep the stuff you really, really love, and get rid of everything else.
“My next project for 2017 is the attic. I’ve kept old hockey sticks and tennis rackets from when I was in school that I’m never going to use. I’m getting up into the attic in the new year and I’m giving them all to charity.”
Ringing in the changes
Lisa McHugh, country singer:
“When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, I try to pick out something from the previous year that I wasn’t very good at, for example, making more time for family or taking better care of myself, and work on that. This year I haven’t been very good at saying the word ‘no’ to people. I never want to let anyone down so I end up taking on a lot more than I can handle. As a result, I end up feeling stressed and pressured. For 2017, I plan to only take on what I can physically manage. Whether I’m able to stick to that for the entire year is another story!”
Derek Ryan, country singer:
“I have a weakness for coffee and would like to cut down my caffeine intake. So my New Year’s resolution for 2017 is to try and give it up. I’m an all or nothing kind of person so cutting it down isn’t really an option. It’s tough as I’m on the road a lot, with varying sleeping patterns and zero routine, so I always reach for the coffee to perk me up. I tried it before and lasted about four months so we’ll see how it goes.”
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