New Year's resolutions are usually made in a last ditch attempt to convince yourself that in the following year you will change every single bad habit you have ever developed in your life and all your dreams will come true.
This is what happens to me year upon year and, although my intentions are good, come January 2 I've already taken 20 giant leaps away from my goals.
Here is a review of my resolutions (arguably too many), and what it's like to follow through with them for more than just a day.
1. Spend money more wisely
This one is an absolute, resolution classic: everyone is whinging about how much money they spend, how they will never save up the $30 million they need for a deposit on their first home while kicking themselves about bumping that credit card limit up every week by 50 bucks.
The challenge: I decided to commit to "the $5 challenge". The premise of this is that every time you find yourself with a $5 note, you put it aside.
Turns out, when you use your bank card all the time, $5 notes don't appear in your wallet all that often. So I have about $10. There is something oddly motivating about having cash though. Maybe that's why those who grew up in a more cash-oriented time are better at saving (I made that up but it seems like it's a thing). When you spend with cash you are literally giving away something you own and have worked hard for. So even my measly $10 is a visual reminder of what can I can achieve - if I don't get tempted to buy some scratchies.
The verdict: Hard. This is very hard. But it will potentially be the most satisfying when, at the end of the year, you have a pretty pot full of money to go and buy something fun. The downside to this is having to go to the bank with a whole bunch of $5 notes.
2. Eat better
This is another one for the New Year's Resolution book of yore. People everywhere see December 31 as the fat-shaming day of the year. They lament all the mince pies they've eaten: "I need to work off all the weight I put on over Christmas", they say. Here I share a startling revelation: A couple of days spent eating over Christmas probably hasn't changed the way you look that drastically.
The challenge: For two whole weeks, I did what most people stop doing after a few days of trying: I ate healthy food.
They don't tell you that January is literally the hardest time to eat well. I had to eat my carrot sticks while all my friends were eating whatever they wanted under the excuse of "holidays".
The verdict: Save this one for when you actually have your mind in the zone for eating well. Being on holiday is about enjoying yourself and indulging, so start this goal on the first day of your working year instead.
3. Read more books
I have a Kindle so that's already a great start. And by my first two weeks in to January I'd read approximately 30 per cent of it. Kindles are great because they tell you these things and remind you that your brain is slower and dumber than when you were 10 and could read a novel in two days.
The verdict: I've discovered this is better than meditation for me. Meditation makes me breathless because I can't do the breathing. This makes me zone out and stop staring at Instagram.
4. Stop looking at screens
This is a hard one. It's almost impossible. I mean, even my book is a screen (see above).
So I decided to learn to knit a hot water bottle cover. My friend is a keen knitter and she seems less square-eyed than me. So I thought, why not give it a go? Knitting has become my sort of therapy. Instead of making my brain work a million miles an hour trying to keep up with what Tom, Dick and Harry are doing on Facebook, I'm zen as, learning how to do some tiny knots. I'll have an Etsy store before you can say "midway into 2018".
The verdict: This made me realise that the last time I did something practical with my spare time was probably in primary school when I made a papier mache bowl with a balloon. What a joy to fashion something with your own two hands!
5. Don't procrastinate
Last year I moved house. I managed to pack all my things in my final two hours before I had to leave because I spent the previous 24 hours watching Scandal. It was ridiculous.
Not procrastinating is also hard because you procrastinate while you attempt to stop procrastinating. It's also hard in January when, for the start of it anyway, you have literally nothing to do, so procrastinating is more of a lifestyle choice.
The challenge: I started writing lists. It was a pretty intense way to start 2017 but there I was with my lists of things like 1. Buy a new deodorant and 2. Clean the mould out of the bathroom, it's gross.
The verdict: I promptly lost all the lists.