Christmas has passed, and the New Year is right around the corner. The popular sentiment seems clear. Not many people will miss 2016. I’ve heard it called “the year that history politely won’t mention,” and many are more than happy to see it go. With 2017 rolling in, and fresh, happy new opportunities on the horizon, friends and family are once again dusting off those clothes covered treadmills and gearing up to make their New Years resolutions.
My advice? Don’t.
Failing at resolutions has become laughably cliche. Many refuse to make resolutions because they would rather not start something they know they can’t attain, or finish to completion. Those who still make resolutions are also often found making disparaging, self-deprecating jokes; forecasting their own inevitable defeat. Sure, the first of the year sounds like the best time to start off with a clean slate. January 1st seems like a great starting point. But what happens when you fumble at January 10?
Mind you, I am not advocating complacency, or stagnancy. Rather, I am suggesting a different mindset when setting about attempting change. The same way one doesn’t develop talent for a sport on game day, or develop morals at the door of decision… one oughtn’t make a resolve simply because it’s the dawn of a new year.
The things we are dealing with at the end of 2016 are the things we’ll be dealing with at the beginning of 2017. The clock doesn’t strike 12 and provide us with a year’s worth of fresh resolve to conquer whatever we’re struggling with. Unlike in Cinderella, there’s no magical transformation that takes place for us at midnight.
When making a resolution, the best moment to start isn’t a date at all. It’s a time, and the time is now. It’s also right after the first time you realized you’ve failed to keep that resolve. It’s over and over and over again, until your resolve hardens and becomes habit. Resolve isn’t tied to a day, it’s tied to you. And you don’t change because the clocks do.
Starting now, resolve to make your “New Year” resolutions, your all year resolutions. Clean out those closets, shed a few pounds, and clear off those treadmills if you want to. Just… maybe, don’t do so in the name of the new year.