It’s been about a week since we rang in the new year, and there’s still an abundance of new gym goers who have pledged to get into shape and stop neglecting their gym passes as their New Year’s resolutions. However, if 2018 goes like any other year, the number of people in the gym will slowly trickle down until only the regulars remain, give or take a few successful newcomers.
And social media saw the usual slew of “New Year, New Me!” posts once the clock struck midnight. If you checked back a few hours later, though, you would see several of those people saying things like “never mind” or “Forget it, 2019 will be my year.”
I am definitely guilty of creating a lengthy list of resolutions and being incredibly hopeful of the year in front of me, only to give up and be the same exact person as the year before within weeks, if not days. But why do we do this? Just give up and continue to wait for another “more ideal” time?
As human beings, we have a tendency to believe that if we cannot entirely be our best selves, then we must hold off until an opportunity to change presents itself. At the very least, we look at our list of resolutions (or, generally speaking, our goals or even to-do lists) and become overwhelmed by the scope of what we aim to do. This leads us to slow our progress down drastically or call it quits altogether.
You might be thinking, duh. I already knew this. But the reason I’m writing this in the first place is to express my exasperation with my resolution habits, and address what I and other people can do to change this.
We are approaching resolutions the wrong way; instead of looking at each year as a turning point, why not look at each day as the time to act? I am still learning this, but there is no ideal time. Telling yourself that you have to wait for a perfect moment is a form of procrastination in itself.
The hardest thing about changing or embracing change is getting started but once you push off, the momentum will follow and keep up with you. This isn’t to say that you won’t have to continually motivate yourself to stay on top of your goals/resolutions, though. Giving up or struggling to get started can be combatted by breaking goals down into day-by-day pieces.
I wholly support having New Year’s resolutions and reflecting on the past year, but I dislike that we (collectively) seem to view the holiday season as the only time of year in which we are allowed to pursue change. Take everything by the day and live in the moment. Very cliché, but that saying is well-liked because it’s agreeable.
Baby steps. Instead of “New Year, New Me,” try “New Year, Better Me.” Happy 2018 all.