The truth about new year’s resolutions is that they give us a sense of hope that everything will once in for all be in place, the world will finally open its arms to us and tell us “Hey here’s your chance, kid”.
I’m sorry to burst your bubble but the world does not care that it’s a new year anyway. We might change as individuals but nothing new is happening around us. They don’t open up new job vacancies nor do your professors give you straight A’s. Unfortunately, nothing around us changes, unless we do. Life doesn’t have a starting line that you need to get to so you can finally start. It’s not some sort of Monopoly game. Your life is your life. You draw as many lines and set as many milestones as you wish. If you get an idea at 3 PM or 3 AM get on with it, it doesn’t have to be Sunday, Monday or next month. The truth is, if you’re truly excited about something and you feel the urge to do it, you won’t wait until the year to end to set it as a goal. If you want it bad enough, it can’t wait.
Say you get on with your instinct and it doesn’t work out for you, so what? Try something new. Draw a new line in your path as you move along to indicate that you’re starting something new from this point. Just keep going. As long as you’re in search of purpose and meaning, as long as you’re putting in work and not just complaining and talking instead of doing, then you’re on your way.
Some people have a set plan for what they want to do since day one and that’s great, but not everyone is like that and that’s okay. There’s no shame in changing your mind once or twice or even three times. Just make sure you’re not hurting anyone along the way and you’re not making excuses for yourself. Sometimes you just need to stumble a few times to get on your expedition to finding your true passion. But once you find it, don’t just hold on to it; get on with it. I’d personally rather start my new year reflecting on the past year and say that “I tried many new things despite them not working out last year and I learned a lot!”. Rather than say, “I had some ideas last year but I ran out of time so hopefully this year will be in my favor”. See how they both sound and feel different?
Don’t get me wrong I think the New Year is a great kick start. It’s a new chapter and it feels like a fresh start. But it shouldn’t be the only time you decide to do something different with your life and try to set new goals. Don’t waste year after year depending on that one week of motivation to get things done. Honestly, if you never stuck to any goal during the year, what makes you think you can keep it up this year? The people who tend to make excuses all year round will only stick to their resolutions for a month if they’re lucky. Be honest with yourself. Who are you and where do you stand? Are you actually going to stick to your goals and do them or do you just want to set them up to make yourself feel accomplished? Think about it, when you say something out loud or when you share it with other people, it makes it seem real. So when you tell someone that you’re going to lose 25 kilos this year, you feel like you’re already halfway there. But then you start your first 3 weeks of dieting and all of a sudden you say to yourself you deserve a break which ends up being a two-month break.
What happens when your goal changes? Suddenly you want to only lose 10 kilos or actually, you decided you want to gain weight. You’ll stop trying to reach the goal all together even if it’s changed, you’ll just give up on it for 5 months. Then, by the 8th month, it hits you to get back on track again but you don’t know where to start so you wait until the new year to start all over. It will never end, so have some self-discipline.
The thing about the new year is that everyone else is sharing the same experience as you. Everyone is so hyped about setting goals and you have this sort of energy going around the world. Everyone feels accomplished and new. But everything new gets old. It’s like watching a motivational video and feeling productive but then you sleep on it and it’s like you were never even motivated in the first place.
Therefore, I’ve come to understand that new year’s resolutions are more of a trend.
I was talking to a friend about this and she made a good point about having that sort of energy surround you all year round. What if you took the energy you get on the first day of the new year with you throughout the whole year? Imagine having your own group of motivation, people you meet once a week or something and you engage new ideas and you feel energized after each gathering. Or simpler, it could be listening to a podcast every other day, reading a self-development book or even watching an inspirational movie or something.
Here’s a thought, why can’t your only resolution this year be “to stay disciplined and motivated”?