Every year, we make resolutions in the hope that they will improve the quality of our lives. But what happens when they are the direct reason our lives suffer? Say you vow to quit your job and travel the world and accrue a massive amount of debt? Or you want to be more adventurous and carefree, and then you get chlamydia from being so fun and carefree?
Sometimes, that's life. The best-laid plans are riddled with chlamydia and piles of debt. We talk to people whose New Year's resolutions did them more harm than good.
My fiancée and I hadn't travelled much internationally, so we made a New Year's Resolution to finally travel to Southeast Asia. We planned for months and finally, in December, we arrived.
It was fantastic until I crashed a moped in Vietnam. I had to be airlifted to a hospital where they told me they would have to amputate the lower half of my left leg. They didn't, but they did remove a big chunk of my calf muscle. Suffice to say, the rest of our trip was cancelled.
A few months later, she called off the engagement.
A woman pops out of the Van of Shame and tells me to get into the van – it's time to shut the race down.
My Czech girlfriend and I were living in the Czech Republic and we had always fantasized about moving to Australia. Finally, before another year passed, we decided to bite the bullet. Once there, it took a while for me to find a job that would sponsor her visa since we weren't married.
All the paperwork was in place; all she had to do was leave the country for a few months and then we could start our life together in Australia. She flew to New Zealand to kill time while they processed her visa.
Finally, her visa came through and she flew back to Sydney. I went to pick her up at the airport, but she was acting weird. When we got to my apartment, she opened up her suitcase to reveal that it was empty. She was packing up her things and moving to New Zealand. She'd fallen in love with a New Zealander. She flew back to Auckland two days later.
We should have stayed in the Czech Republic.
I had just moved across the world to England for my husband and didn't have a job. The first year was really hard with no reason to get out of the bed in the morning. I decided to finally train for a marathon to give me a purpose and make me feel accomplished.
My husband and I decided to make a big thing of it and run the Las Vegas Rock N Roll Marathon. I had read that they cut off the race at five hours because they have to close The Strip, but with my training runs, I had a feeling that if I pushed hard enough on race day, I'd finish in time.
We flew out to Vegas from London. Because the evening race was staggered, I crossed the start line an hour later than the more elite runners, but I still thought I'd have five hours to run the race. For the first few miles, there are live bands and lots of people cheering you on, but as soon as you get out of The Strip, it's totally deserted and pitch black.
I was 21 miles in, feeling strong, and then I noticed there wasn't anyone running around me. Suddenly, a van pulls out in front of me, completely blocking me from running. A woman pops out of the Van of Shame and tells me to get into the van – it's time to shut the race down.
When I got in the Van of Shame, it was full of other runners who had gotten cut off too. It was completely silent, except for a few people who were sobbing. Most of us had flown thousands of miles to run this marathon. A guy started going crazy on the driver – talking about how he can't believe he didn't get to finish and how that's just not acceptable and finally the driver just cracks and says "You want to go finish? Then go!" and kicks us all out of the van in the middle of nowhere.
It's completely dark and cold now, but we can make out the bright lights of The Strip and head towards it. My husband was waiting for me at the finish line, yelling, "You did it! You ran it within five hours!"--and that's when I started bawling.
I'd been working at my job in London for nearly ten years and at the start of a new year, I decided to finally quit and move to another country. My dream was to work at an eco hotel in Costa Rica, where I would be doing conservation work. I quit, booked my ticket, ended the lease on my flat in London, packed my bags and flew to Costa Rica.
Turns out, "conservation work" meant I was actually a dishwasher and trash-man. It was not the glamour and fun that I had expected. After a month, I flew back to England and moved back into my parents' home.
I have always been obsessed with going to Paris and kissing a French guy. It hadn't happened yet, so I flew to Paris on December 26 and on New Year's Eve, I went to the Eiffel Tower to celebrate the New Year. And yes, I ended up making out with a super hot Parisian guy.
I woke up the next morning with food poisoning (or a disease I'd contracted by making out with him) and realized he had stolen my camera.
I'd always wanted to be a vegetarian, so when New Year's Eve came along I decided to finally go for it. Everything was going fine in my meat-free life. I felt a little tired but thought things seemed normal.
Then I started to lose my hair. At first, it just seemed little by little, but then by the end, I was pulling out huge chunks in every shower and sobbing. It turns out my iron levels were incredibly low from my new diet. I started eating meat as soon as the doctor told me to.
Names have been changed*