I’ve never cared much for New Year’s resolutions and here’s for why: by this time in the month most have fallen by the wayside. I think it stands to reason; we make them with poor judgement and often after an evening of feasting and merriment. It’s never going to work. Well, I’ll hand you the exception – and maybe you are it – so, seriously, congratulations: you have defied the odds. But for the majority of us we just don’t hack it. We find our excuses. We lay down the mantel and retire back to our old ways and habits – defeated. But at least we tried – well, sort of.
I’m not even sure that cold days and long dark evenings are setting us up to fail! You know what I mean – that driver of change, that engine of progress is seldom at its best at minus 2. Motivation needs food and light – it needs encouragement in good doses to get us off to a flying start – and who wants to fly in cold damp fog?
So as earnest as we are and as determined as we might wish to sound we need more than a bloody Mary on New Year’s Eve to set us up for concrete change and personal transformation. We need clarity – and conviction – and courage – and eventually change. But she usually turns up late to the party which is why you have to pay attention to the others first. Hence why I question our timing and offer my musings as a source of hope regardless of how, thus far my words might read. For here’s the thing.
If you are going to make a resolution for the New Year think about mid November and make your preparations; early December at the latest – and don’t tell anyone, not yet at least. Think them through – and more importantly, count the cost. You’re going to start exercising? Go and have a few trial attempts – feel the pain of your proposal first. Then look through the pain, consider how you will manage that pain and work through it. Then make the decision once you’ve felt the weight of your idea and what you will have to carry to get through it. Consider how you can break the pain down into manageable chunks – don’t let it defeat you, wrestle with it but don’t try and take it all in one go – it will take you out, leave you disappointed and the failure you feel might stop you getting started again.
But here’s a thought. You want to build change into your life – then now’s the time to really consider it! Why? Because no one’s expecting it, you can decide on it without sentiment and make your plans with Spring round the corner (new beginnings and all that!). That’s right one month into the New Year is a great time to plan a change in your life. And, I reckon, if you do there’s a better chance you will work it through. The psychology’s on your side – its working with you.
One month in is a great time to make that change. And here’s for why. You will make it for the right reasons – you want to, you don’t simply feel you ought to. You’ve had time to think about it and what it will cost. And having gone through the first month of the year – you still want to do it, which is great motivation and great opportunity. So go for it. Whatever it is – just do it. Read that book, or indeed write it. Change that diet – it’s for the taking. Read the Bible in one Year – it will serve you well. Run, paint, sing, dance, whatever it maybe it’s waiting for you. And this is the great news – one month in is not too late, in fact, it could just be the very best time to start.