Sumati Huber pens a list of realistic New Year’s goals for 2023.
Namaste to 2023! As we usher in another year, we are relishing in the endless optimism for what’s to come, and what we will achieve. But before we set our sights too high, perhaps we can benefit from these realistic New Year’s goals.
1. Detoxing — but only for the first few days of January
As the festive season winds down, you realise you need a month to recover from the celebrations. You may have boldly declared something to the effect of having a ‘dry January’ and that you are definitely not going out to eat or drink. But the Indian social calendar does not heed such proclamations, as there will still be residual dinner parties, weddings, and family gatherings that require your presence and lack of willpower at the open bar. No elder will actually respect your decision to “be healthy” or “detox” as it indicates you don’t know how to control yourself, and maybe you should learn to set some boundaries.
2. Lose weight — but only when it’s convenient
Exercising and dieting is tough all year round and even more daunting when you vow to lose 10 kilos on January 1st(most of which you probably gained over the holidays). You dig up your old trainer’s number who you haven’t contacted for months because things have been getting busy. You book a session for January 3rd, pumped up to start feeling fit again. However, when work and life take priority as usual, the trainer’s number moves further and further down your recent call list until it disappears completely. Don’t feel bad though, you will get the motivation again the next time someone tells you that you’ve gotten fat.
3. Caring for the environment — but without changing what you’re already doing
We aren’t all bad on this one! Indians already have a savvy penchant for repurposing empty biscuit tins to store sewing supplies and random buttons, as well as recycling empty ice cream containers to pack leftovers for their guests. We have a drawer filled with plastic bags that we can use over and over. We open gifts very carefully so that we can save the wrapping paper for another occasion. We aren’t that fond of spending money either, so we are good at preserving everything we own. Unfortunately, we still need our cars to get around, don’t know how to turn down the noise-polluting music, and may or may not have numerous construction projects on the Bangkok horizon.
4. Be more patient with your family — except when you can’t
We all have those well-meaning parents and relatives who drive us crazy. Whether they keep asking us to teach them how to put their phone on silent (but never do it), or berating every choice we make, it’s not always easy to be calm in their presence. You may vow to take deep breaths and chant “Om” to stay patient, but no amount of meditation can stand up to the tenth person asking when you’re going to get married. As much as we try, we do our best to avoid them all year round and spend that time going out with our friends instead of doing constructive things like becoming a doctor or making more money. Luckily, that gives your family more chances to criticise you the next time you see them because they surely didn’t make a resolution to stop making unnecessary comments.
An unreformed party girl and mother of two, writer, editor and observer Sumati Huber tries to make sense of our unique Thai-Indian society and the aunties that she will one day become.