Forget the grand gesture — nano-resolutions, modest but meaningful, are the approach of choice as 2015 looms.
The universe loves a symbolic gesture. It doesn't have to be grand or spectacular, just meaningful. Personally, at New Year I dig buying new stationery. Moleskine journals and clean diaries full of expectant polar white pages, empty but full of hope. Inky new pens. A whiteboard. But I'm not so hopeful about New Year's resolutions. I don't have a good record at year-long commitments.
In two of the past three years I have dropped out of full-time university courses, having mini-kind of mental breakdowns, and last year I withdrew from my masters of creative writing programme. So I'm loathe to promise to achieve anything at all in 2015 apart from putting on clean undies every day.
You won't hear: "This is the year I write my book, learn Mandarin, run a marathon and visit Machu Picchu." So instead, Nudge-style, I might just try to tutu around the margins and do some very small adjustments, some of which I might be able to stick to. Maybe. Because this year, there are only nano-New Year's resolutions:
Learn at least a few te reo words.
Take the children to the art gallery more often than the mall.
Take my makeup off at night once in a while.
Be more respectful. To everyone.
Actually drink some of that green tea that sits in the cupboard.
Get my sofa re-upholstered. Stuffing is coming out.
Throw out my icecream cartons.
Don't pluck chin hairs in rear vision mirror while at traffic lights.
Make my son Star Wars birthday cake despite unappetising grey icing.
Throw out some of my unhelpful self-help books.
Get some of those smelly Ecoya stick things for the bathroom.
Don't text, talk on phone while at checkout or buying in shops: it's rude.
Give myself credit for the things I have done and the progress I have made. Don't bollock self if I can't manage this.
Hang washing on line rather than lazily putting in dryer.
Wear matching underwear.
Have more sex.
Park car without graunching wheels on the pavement.
Write 500 words a day. Don't bollock self if I can't manage this.
When out running greet everyone I see no matter how stuffed I am.
Take more notice of my kids so they don't get spooked when occasionally I give them my laser-like undivided attention. "So, what are you building there on Minecraft?" "Mum, you're freaking me out."
Volunteer for school patrol duty.
Try to let go of any ideas to which I am devoted.
Dance more. Dance is the hidden language of the soul (Martha Graham).
Stop thinking I know anything at all. If you think it's right, it's probably already wrong.
Ignore LLFAB. (Low-Level Fairly Annoying Behaviour.)
Eat more fruit.
Look for the beauty in every moment. And in everyone. Even call-centre staff.
Really try to "see" old people and the people who don't get noticed, the invisible people.
Actually read the Economist, rather than saying I do and putting in a pile for later.
Hear the kind voice in my head - "you're doing well, cupcake" - rather than the harsh judgmental one - "you're a dickhead".
Just focus on one small thing to do at a time. Look for uber-small achievements.
Stop talking so much. Listen.
Learn to bear the thought that love ends. We can't live without loss.
Don't have a car full of rubbish and empty Happy Meal boxes.
Try to remember the truth not just for a day, but day after day, all year.
Wear what Man Ray calls "the red badge of courage" (lipstick).
Try not to lose expensive sunglasses.
Get through a year without making an insurance claim on my car .
Be kind, gentle, forgiving.
Don't expect to be perfect. Accept you are not the best, and you never will be the best. This sounds like admitting defeat but is actually one of the finest victories you will ever achieve.
Live creatively. Let go of satisfying people, sometimes even myself.
Remember life is overwhelmingly interesting, revealing and awe-provoking when you show up and pay attention to the particulars.
Okay, I might manage to floss. But don't bollock self if I don't.
Happy New Year, everyone!