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The 16 inevitable stages of a New Year’s resolution

Made a new year’s resolution? Congrats! Now, here’s how we all know what’s probably going to go down…

1. Hope

5-evangelising

This year, everything will be different! You will develop a will of iron. You’ll become one of those people you hear about who runs a marathon up a mountain before breakfast and pretends not to like cake. You’re going to emerge brighter-eyed and bushier-tailed and cleverer and more successful as a person, and it’ll all be because you gave up or took up this one thing as a new year’s resolution.

2. Motivation

You’re a new year machine! Bring on the resolution revolution. You’ve made a spreadsheet and bought equipment and watched five hours of YouTube tutorials. You’re going to NAIL this.

4-determination

3. Anticipation

You almost wish January 1st would come quicker, tbh. Finishing off the Quality Street and fancy cheese under a blanket is frankly getting tedious.

4. Determination

Here we go! Off the blocks! New year: activated! You’ve only been awake four hours so maybe it’s a bit too early to say but you’re calling it: 2017 is the year you became a better human.

5. Evangelising

In your new role of better human, it is your duty to help others be their best selves too. Therefore you should probably tell as many people as possible about your resolution, and how great you’re being at sticking to it. That way they can all applaud and look admiring, and tell you how inspiring you are.

6-the-smug-zone

6. The Smug Zone

Several days in now and you’re still going strong. In quiet moments you find yourself daydreaming about the book you will write about your resolution, and how it changed your life forever. Then the speech you’ll make when the book wins the Nobel Prize.

7. The Slightly Less Smug Zone

It’s all still going brilliantly, it really is, except that for some reason you can’t stop thinking about that thing you gave up. All of a sudden the days feel very long and not very fun. Other people keep taunting their lack of willpower in your face and tbh it looks like they’re having quite a lovely time.

8. The rebrand

The thing is, and you’ve thought about this carefully for a long time and not just decided it this second because you really want a biscuit, moderation is actually the key to life’s happiness. So maybe your resolution shouldn’t be a rule as much as a serving suggestion for better living. Like on a cake packet. Though you’re still sticking to it, of course, because you have a will of iron.

8-the-rebrand

9. The top of the slippery slope

If you only have a will of softer metal, is that such a bad thing? A will of aluminium? That’s still fine! You’re strong but flexible, and useful for leftovers.

10. Cheating

Quick, just create a distraction and take the biscuit. Shout “OH LOOK, A DOG!” If nobody sees then it’s fine, it doesn’t count. Except in your heart, but that’s not important.

11-defensiveness

11. Defensiveness

While it might LOOK as though you’re watching QVC in your pyjamas at 2pm instead of taking the dog for a brisk five mile walk, what you’re actually doing is an important part of the resolution strategy. The… um, the recharging part. Also you never specifically said it would be a five mile walk with your legs, rather than a five mile walk with your mind. Also shut up.

12. Denial

Failed? You haven’t failed! You’re just having a bit of a break from the resolution. Everyone needs a break sometimes. Also, traditionally resolutions don’t count on Fridays because… reasons.

13-rebellion

13. Rebellion

“You’re not the boss of me, New Year! If I want a cookie instead of a kale juice I will HAVE a cookie instead of a kale juice. YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD.”

14. Acceptance

You’re brilliant just the way you are. Nobody likes change. Giving things up isn’t your style anyway; you’re no quitter! Nope, better to embrace every inch of your true personality and stand firm against the pressure of society. To thine own self be true! Who said that? Shakespeare? Or Dumbledore? You really should watch less TV and read more – NO, WAIT.

14-acceptance

15. Deflection

“Resolution? Noooo, no that wasn’t me. Nope. Nuh-uh. Must have been someone else. OH LOOK, A DOG.”

16. Hope again

You know, for next year. Next year everything will be different.

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Image: Getty / Katie Edmunds

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