Get a Head Start on New Years Resolutions by Not Making Any
Do not wait to do what you could begin today. The New Year is a great time to get intoxicated by the flurry of new beginnings but; eventually, you and everyone else will sober up.
"On average, 80% of New Year's resolutions fail by the second week of February."
Stop waiting for the perfect time to start new habits. Who knows what January first will look like after the year everyone has had. You have no clue what will happen in the world- let alone your own head. Today is the only day you can manipulate. At this moment, you know where you are and what you are capable of. Let yourself begin to move away from the resolutions-rush that the new year brings.
Moving away from resolution-culture means beginning now, but in a sustainable way. Nurturing lasting changes in your life will not be a cut and dry process. No amount of full-steam-ahead for a measly six weeks that will magically push you to accomplish everything you have ever wanted. And even if you do meet your goal, guess what? Now you have to live that life -maintain it- walk the walk every day.
Changing your life takes time. You will practice your new habits day-in-and-day-out. That sounds daunting, but it is just living. That is why your new habits should be something you enjoy doing!
And what most do not realize is that the milestones are just as rewarding as the end-goal. For example, it might take you, say, five years to pay off significant debt. I bet the first 25% you pay off is going to feel monumental. Then when you pay off 50 percent, that is half the weight off your chest. Those milestones are exciting, rewarding, and most importantly-progress. Never try to be a finished product. Enjoy yourself as you are at this moment.
Do not wait until new years, then expect your whole life to change in six weeks. Sustainable change will not happen rapidly. You want the change to be gradual because you want it to last. Waiting seems hard, and that is because it is. By 'waiting' you are forcing your mind to live in a future state. Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher, and writer said this: “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
Modern psychology describes it as Anticipatory Anxiety. The best way to identify anticipatory anxiety is to reflect on your inner dialogue. Take a look at the way you encourage yourself. What words do you use to motivate yourself? Have you been asking yourself a lot of, what-if questions?
Anticipatory anxiety describes the fear and worry around bad things that could happen. It can happen in a lot of different contexts, but it commonly focuses on things you can't predict or control." -Healthline.com
If you set a New Years Goal, it is almost like you are setting yourself up to live in a state of constant anticipatory anxiety. Let us say you gave yourself 12 weeks to lose 30 pounds. By week two, you've gained four pounds. The weight gain, the fast-approaching deadline, the scale that is laughing at you- that would be enough to derail your new year's resolutions- and it does for most. Do not make new year's resolutions, because we cannot live in the future. We can only live in this moment.
So stop pumping yourself up on December 31st. Start now, with small manageable, and palatable changes. Change is uncomfortable. The unknown is uncomfortable. Take change moment-by-moment, get used to one new element at a speed that is right for you and your well-being.
Stop waiting and start living this minute. Day-by-day you will get to where you need to go. Have faith. And finally, I leave you with this question: when is the last time you took a deep breath and slowly let it out? If you can not remember, now is a good time to do so and keep doing so until you are fully present.
BCRX Writer, Klarrisa Arafa