A new year… a new beginning…
Many people are excited by the idea of beginning a new year, turning a fresh page in their lives and finally starting to tick off those “Things to do in <insert year here>” list – or as it’s commonly known as: New Year’s Resolutions.
While it is true that having a mindset of ‘starting fresh’ helps with getting things done, some of us have New Year’s Resolutions in order to not get things done. No? Absolutely yes.
Let us expose the naked truth behind New Year’s Resolutions.
It is now two weeks into 2014.
- Some people have already started ticking off those boxes… congrats!
- Some of them have started to start ticking them off…
- Some of them are still in the festive mood and busy celebrating the now-two-weeks-old year…
- Some have been a bit too busy to grab the pen, whereas some have already planned the whole year ahead and have nothing to worry about!
- Some people are still unsure about how to start going about the list.
- Some of them just don’t have a list!
- And some people are still waiting for that motivation to kick in so they start ticking off their list…
Does any of them sound familiar?
I personally belong to the “Which day/month/year is this??” category. I think it was a few years back when I realised the truth about ‘New Year’s Resolutions’. All my life I had celebrated the coming of a new year yet it hadn’t really changed anything in my life. Why?
Truth #1: There is nothing “new” about the New Year
Except for a new number in the ‘year’ section of the date, there is absolutely nothing ‘new’ about the 1st January. It is as normal a date as is 31st December. No matter how excited you are about it, you will feel exactly the same about the things you want to do as you did the ‘year’ before.
Truth #2: No one cares about the list of things you want to do
It doesn’t matter how hard you celebrate them; all those “new years” will still come and go just the same. They are just numbers. They don’t care about the bad habits you want to quit. They don’t care about the things you want them to bring. They don’t care about your excuse list which you call “New Year’s Resolutions”. They ain’t gonna ‘resolve’ anything for ya!
Truth #3: Your New Year’s Resolutions is just an excuse list
I’m not against New Year’s Resolutions, don’t get me wrong. If it’s giving you motivation to do things in your life, and you can keep up with it, then by all means, go for it.
What I personally believe in is that: If I want to start doing something, I’d rather not wait for the ‘new year’. Since the last day of one year is exactly the same as the first day of the next, there is no point in postponing things.
Yes, ‘postponing‘ is what quite a percentage of people do. The New Year’s Resolution is just an ‘excuse for procrastination’ list.
“I reeaaaaally should to do this thing, but I have this other thing I need to do… and the time is just not right… it’s only the beginning of the year anyway and I don’t really feel like starting it now… oh, I forgot that I wanted to start doing this other thing a few months ago… It’s almost the end of the year now anyway, so I’ll put it down as my New Year’s Resolution and start doing it next year. This time I’ll keep at it!… All sorted!”
Truth #4: You will never tick off that list if you haven’t already
This ‘waiting for the new year‘ to get motivation, or waiting for ‘the right time‘, or for things ‘to go right‘ thing isn’t a solution. If your New Year’s Resolutions list is just to postpone things you should be doing, or to make more excuses for yourself, then it’s probably time for you to stop and reevaluate.
Is it really the timing that is wrong? Is it really the circumstances that are holding you back? Is there really a solid reason for needing to wait for that one-digit change in the calendar in order to get going? Or is it only because you need that one more excuse to not do anything and not feel bad at the same time because you have already put it in your calendar?
The truth is: if you haven’t already started doing what you want to do in the previous year, chances are you will not be doing it in the new year, either.
If you are just waiting for the timing to be right… wake up. The timing will never be right and things will never go as you expected. There will always be something in the way, like some minor obstacle or a slight deviation from the intended path.
If you really want to be doing something, then you will do it. You will not let these obstacles or changes make you wait unnecessarily, or deviate you away from your goals.
However, if you’re only in it half-heartedly, you will see the obstacles as mountains to be climbed, and the deviations in your path as cross-country detours. So, you will put everything off till the next year, hoping you will somehow resolve it when the time comes.
Do you really need a New Year’s Resolutions list?
Ask yourself why exactly you are putting it down as your New Year’s Resolution.
Do you really need to be waiting for the new year to do it? Or can it be done whenever is convenient for you? If so, then why do you want to wait for the new year to do it? Or in fact, do you actually really want to do it at all?
Once you can answer these questions you will uncover your true reason for having your New Year’s Resolutions. If it’s fine with you, carry on with it. If it’s working for you, go for it. If you’re not happy with it, then change it.
You have the power to steer your life in the direction that you want. Stop putting your life on autopilot hoping that things will somehow work out.
If you want to keep waiting for the perfect moment to take the steering wheel in your hands… then you might be waiting for a long time.
But remember, life will not wait as patiently as you do.