“Good resolutions are like babies crying in church. They should be carried out immediately.”Charles M. Sheldon
Another January arrives and many people take this as an opportunity to set resolutions for the upcoming year. We’ve all done it – get really excited about creating the story of our lives that we want to live and then, a few weeks or months down the road, suddenly we find ourselves right back in our old rut. So what’s up?
The tabla rasa misconception
Many of us (and yes I include myself in there) love the idea of having a blank slate at the beginning of the year to work from. We see a world of possibility in the blank year ahead and want to throw ourselves into it in a really intentional way. And THAT’S GREAT! It really is. We absolutely love that feeling of anything being possible and it’s an important feeling to cultivate within ourselves.
One problem is that the slate isn’t really blank. Most of us didn’t spend the last 3-6 months clearing it off so that anything truly is possible. We’ve still got jobs that we maybe don’t like, we still have eating habits that prevent us from being healthy, we’ve got toxic relationships, and we’ve got schedules that are just as full now as they were last year.
Also, we tend to shoot for the moon on our new year’s resolution. We expect to be able to suddenly change everything in our lives for the better when we haven’t trained ourselves to be able to do that yet. It would be like stepping into a UFC fight with a champion without ever learning to throw a punch (or dodge one). You might be excited to step into the ring, but you aren’t going to last long once the bell rings.
Reframe your resolutions
What if we tried it a different way though? What if we viewed this as an opportunity to start our training? What if we started, knowing that it would be a year or two before we were ready for the ring? How would that change the way we approach our resolutions? For me it would mean:
- Starting with smaller goals that are manageable.
- Asking for help (ever noticed that every fighter has numerous coaches and sparring partners? There’s a reason)
- Creating some milestones along the path to the big goal to let me know how I’m doing.
- Recognizing my own patterns well enough to know what to do when I want to quit, when I want to quit, or when I flounder and don’t know what to do next.
Today can be your day.
If you are motivated to start today – great! Don’t let the fact that it is January stop you from creating change in your life. Doing something today is far superior to doing nothing beyond wishing you had changed yesterday.
At the end of the day, there is nothing special about January 1st. You are on the journey of your life, and the only one that can create the life you want to live is YOU.
What would it be like to wake up every morning and view that day as full of possibility for you to create the life you dream of? How much would your life change if you did something towards that life every single day?