Photo by David Davies.
January 1, 2018 is no different than December 31, 2017. You probably woke up with big plans to “really make some changes this year,” but you know what? It’s not going to work. Why? Because you’ve already decided that waiting until the new year to become the new and improved you is the right course of action.
New years resolutions have some serious issues built into them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people bettering themselves, but you’re just asking for failure with these things. For one, you’re probably setting some unrealistic, unnecessary goals for yourself. “Shoot for the stars,” they say — No! Shoot for realistic, down-to-Earth goals you can accomplish in a fairly short amount of time, then build up from there. Baby steps, people! You want to craft systems for yourself that will take you the distance. Also, make sure these goals will actually make you happier. After all, why learn to rock climb if you’re not going to make it one of your things? And remember, a year is a long time when it comes to focusing on a project. You’re bound to get sick of it and quit, or get busy with something else and quit, or just quit because, well, you forgot about it. Hell, I bet some of you can’t even remember your resolution from last year.
You’re also giving yourself a time constraint to accomplish your goal, even if you don’t mean to. Come next New Years Eve, you’re probably going to go “Oh crap, I didn’t make it.” You lost 9kg, but gained back 21 over the holidays. You wanted to travel more, but you only got out of town once and for business. You wanted to read more books, but you still have a stack of the same unread books you bought the first week of last year. Don’t disappoint yourself like that. You’re going to suck, so give yourself some space to do that and improve gradually. Yes, deadlines can be good sometimes, but if your goals are something even a teensy bit abstract — like learn to play guitar, or learn a new language — you’re not going to give yourself the benefit of the doubt. You’re going to sit down New Years Eve, play a few shoddy chords or struggle to construct a sentence in Mandarin, and be upset with yourself for not doing what you promised you would.
Worst of all, you’re putting off making positive changes in your life for the sake of the “resolution.” You tell yourself, “I want to do this… but I’ll start it come the new year.” Stop wasting your own time! It is literally the most precious commodity you will ever own. If you want to change, make like a brand slogan and just do it. No more excuses. Years, months – time is all a construct you silly animal. Enough with the “next year will be better” crap and just make now better. There is only now. If that doesn’t make sense, think of it like this: your life is just one very long year. There’s no restarts, clean slates, or turning points. There’s just this one long period of time where you’re here, then you’re not. Are you still going to wait to pursue your goals? Oh, and Happy New Year.