The tradition of making New Years Resolutions has been around forever. At the beginning of every year, we announce our goals for the year ahead and commit to making those long-awaited changes to our lives.
As always, as the end of 2011 drew near, I found myself asking the people around me if they were making any resolutions this year. The consensus seemed to be that resolutions are never kept and that it’s a pointless exercise setting them when you’re only setting yourself up for failure.
For the past few years, I have made the exact same resolutions – to be happy and to quit Diet Coke. Being happy is always a safe bet, but every year I would quit Diet Coke on New Years Day and swear I was going to stick with it for a year… or a month AT LEAST, with a couple of exceptions to get me through. These were:
1. I was allowed to drink unlimited quantities of post mix (fountain) Diet Coke without guilt. My justification for this was that post mix contained more water than Diet Coke, so it didn’t count.
2. I was also allowed to have one can per week, which I would carefully plan in case of an anticipated hangover or spicy dinner.
As you’ve probably guessed, I failed. The first year it took about 3 weeks, the second year about 2 and last year… about 2 days. It was like officially quitting it was actually causing me to want it even more, and each year my commitment was getting weaker.
I’ve never had any serious addictions, I’m not a smoker, gambler or alcoholic and besides the occasional short-term food obsession (which generally happens when I’m in the midst of a baking phase), Diet Coke has been my only vice.
By late January, I was well and truly off the resolution wagon. I had a particularly messy night out and the ensuing hangover was easily the worst I have ever had. I accept that I am no longer the spring chicken that I used to be and that every hangover hurts that little bit more than the last, but after five (yep, FIVE!) days of not being able to eat anything without getting sick and drinking my body weight in Diet Coke in an attempt to feel better, I realised something was not quite right.
I was sitting on the Manly ferry in Sydney the following weekend, feeling like crap and sucking back my zillionth Diet Coke for the week when the realisation hit me. My bloated, sore stomach and complete lack of energy was not due to the white wine/beer combination of the previous weekend, but from my beloved fizzy friend…
I got off the ferry, walked to the bin, ditched the can and quit – not just Diet Coke, but soft drink altogether, then and there. Once my stomach calmed down, I felt awesome! Since that day, I have had exactly 2 Diet Cokes, neither of which would be considered falling off the wagon.
A couple of days ago, I started thinking about whether or not I would set resolutions for 2012. Initially, I assumed I would make the same ones, but then I realised that I had unintentionally achieved last year’s!
So, for 2012, I’m making myself no promises and setting no resolutions that can be broken. Instead, I am setting the following goals:
By the end of 2012, I want to still be as happy, fulfilled and excited for a new year to come as I am now, bidding adieu to 2011! Happy New Year!