'I will start a morning ritual... that includes rashers' - A rebel’s eight-step guide to New Year’s resolutions
And so it's almost time to atone for our festive sins by drawing up the annual list of unachievable New Year's resolutions.
So, what are you hoping to achieve in 2018? Well, that all depends on how appallingly you behaved at the end of 2017. Resolutions are a little like stepping into a confession box to receive penance.
"I devoured the contents of 12 selection boxes, one of which was meant for my nephew, Father."
"Say four Hail Marys, two Our Fathers and sign up for a 30-day trial of Crossfit, my child."
"I drank two bottles of Prosecco on Christmas morning and undercooked the turkey, Father."
"Recite a decade of the rosary, join a pottery evening class and be sure to do Dry January, my child."
Sure, it's tempting to partake in a time-honoured spot of self-flagellation - especially when you ate too much, drank too much, and spent too much - but it's important to remember that nothing good was ever built upon a foundation of guilt.
New Year/New You! resolutions might sound terribly optimistic but, for the most part, they are a self-imposed purgatory, and a predictable conclusion to the perfunctory binge-purge cycle. Besides, January is challenging by its very nature. Why make it even harder? Sign up for your health kicks and fitness challenges by all means, but don't forget that you're already running the marathon that is modern life.
This is the year to stop beating yourself up for having fun. Or, if you're feeling a little more devilish, why not have even more fun with the hedonist's guide to resolutions? You can learn French next year...
1. I will start a morning ritual... that includes rashers
Morning rituals like meditation and yoga are worth their weight in gold, but do you know what's even better? A sunrise bacon sandwich, served on an oak breakfast board that you bought for you, and you only. Eat it mindfully, noticing the way the butter melts and drips down your fingers. Namaste.
2. I will get fit ... by dancing more
Dance around your kitchen on a Monday morning. Take your top off in a sweaty techno club on a Saturday night. Learn the salsa, practise the moonwalk and don't forget to think of the drones who are mindlessly pounding the treadmills in your local gym.
3. I'll stop buying takeaway coffee... so I can spend the extra €100 on a massage
Even better, pencil it in for after work on a Friday. The massage therapist will tell you to drink lots of water afterwards. Pretend you didn't hear and instead order the biggest, fattest goblet of Beaujolais possible in the nearest wine bar. Add a cheese board if you're feeling fancy, flirt outrageously with the much-younger barman and congratulate yourself for sticking to your resolution.
4. I will get in shape for summer... by buying a BBQ
They say summer bodies are made in the winter. What they don't tell you is that summer garden settings are bought for bargain prices in the winter sales. This is the time to pick up vastly reduced outdoor canopy swings, BBQs and pizza ovens using the last gasp of your credit card.
5. I will lose weight... by getting rid of friends that weigh me down
Let's face it, some friends are just heavy. They moan and they bitch; they blather on about office politics and tracker mortgages; they talk at length about their Luas journey and their cat's vet bill. Make 2018 the year that you prioritise the sparkly people.
6. I will learn Spanish... by taking a Latin lover
Casual sex, to quote Jordan Peterson, is an oxymoron, because there's nothing casual about it. However, if you are single and sexually responsible - and it's within your power to have quality sex with someone who doesn't look like a potato - then you should do it. You should do it for all of us.
7. I will spend less time on social media... by becoming a social outcast
Lack of assertiveness? Low self-esteem? Why not rage against the machine and finally let that self-satisfied, permanently offended hyper-liberal on Twitter know exactly what you think?
8. I will learn a new skill... simply to show off