January 1st is the wrong day to start making New Year’s resolutions.
New Year’s Day, 2019 and the time of New Year’s Resolutions are almost here. As it approaches, many of us take stock of ourselves and our lives. We’ll look at our successes and failures in 2018 and ponder as to how we can be better. As we assess and define our shortcomings and as our improvement goals become clearer, New Year’s resolutions are born. Some resolutions play like holiday song standards.
- Lose weight
- Start saving more
- Start a business
- Get a new job
Those are not mine. And of course, yours may vary as well. Whatever they may be, many of us set a line in the sand that January 1st will be the day that we’ll get started on fulfilling our resolutions. Hence the term “new year’s resolutions.
Your local gym is banking on your resolutions. The gym sales staff know it’s the time people looking to improve their fitness swarm the place and sign up for new memberships.
They’re waiting for you because you’re waiting to get started.
As I’ve been to the gym this week, I can tell you, it’s unusually quiet. But being a veteran of this season, I know it’s just the calm before the storm. I and the gym staff are waiting until January 1st for the flood of people. People right now who have made a decision to get fit, but are saying to themselves, “Wait until the new year then I‘ll do it.”
Here’s my problem with waiting January 1st and New Year’s resolutions.
It’s already too late.
Why waiting until New Years is too late.
One: For a resolution or making a change, delay is your frenemy.
It feels helpful to delay. It isn’t. Letting yourself postpone action is your subconscious telling you,” it’s cool to wait.” While it may feel easier or more comfortable to hold off, it’s really setting you up to fail.
By waiting, you’re essentially stalling. Stalling by definition is a lack of progress and puts you closer to failing than succeeding. You just haven’t passed the January 1st deadline to officially declare failure.
Two: Delay can often hide fear.
Fear often cloaks itself in the form of a rational voice in your head. It can re-frame the feeling of being scared or overwhelmed to take action into, “Hey, let’s not overdo it. We need time to get ready, right?”
These comforting excuses make you feel good in the short term because you say to yourself, “I’m going to do it, eventually.” Those excuses also give you more room to fail in the long term by giving you permission to never getting around to taking real action.
Three: When allowed to get a footing, fear grows.
Once you decide to delay action, Fear will nag you by piling on more reasons why you can’t or don’t have to act. Instead of getting support and encouragement, fear gives you more ways to quit. And the more you become more fearful, the easier it is for new excuses or challenges to paralyze you.
Don’t wait for New Year’s Day. Do it now.
The voices of fear and temptation and safety of comfortable habits will give you a thousand reasons not to act now.
To beat them, all you need is one: “I’m already doing it, bitch” (True fact: you’re allowed to cuss at fear).
The faster you turn a decision to change into action, the more likely you are to achieve your goals.
By taking action right now…
- You dissipate fear by proving it’s a liar (It’s wrong. You can do it and do it now) and truly know the reasons it gave you for not acting were bullshit.
- You avoid the default of failure. Each day you wait to get started is essentially a day you failed to move forward. It also acts as another day of re-enforcing failure. Acting right now allows you to take steps to make each day a positive and successful one.
- You capture the little wins. Though small, you can build on them to build bigger wins towards your goals. Also, little wins cut up your bigger goal to make it feel more manageable and obtainable.
The new year isn’t here yet. A better you can get here faster. Do it today.
Hey, I wrote a book about being mindful in the new age of content.
Ready to make big changes in your life? Why January 1st is the wrong day to start acting on your New Year’s resolutions.