New Year New...
That old catchphrase which gets people ready for the new year "New Year, new you", has been used so many times but after six weeks or so the new you has had a break....for about eleven months if you are the typical human. New Years resolutions are in right now that's for sure. But is the new year really the time to turn over a new leaf? Is a dramatic new year shift really what's going to kick things into gear for you?
In order to save the suspense for you, we can tell you that the new year is not what is going to change things for you. Very seldom do you hear any change of life story that started with the words 'January 1st is when it all happened'. It just isn't the way to go. Any drastic change in your life that isn't out of necessity of health or circumstance is more likely to be temporary rather than permanent. Someone giving up smoking cold turkey on day one is either going to miss it too much to carry on going cold turkey or will substitute smoking for something else like drinking alcohol.
When you say you will start something like gym, a healthy diet or something similar that requires giving up something or taking up something you put pressure on the change making it a big deal to achieve, you take away a lot from your life like smoking, time, money and that is unnatural to us no matter what way you slice it. An effective change of lifestyle is always gradual. More often than not the real success stories of changing your life has been through a matter of months not nights. New years resolutions are not practical. Maybe they can be the start of a gradual process but that is as far as it should go.
So that is what New Year should be all about. It should be the start of a gradual process from where you are right now to where you want to be, but where you want to be should be about 6 months away, maybe even a year or two. New Year should be the time you start thinking of what you can change incrementally to get to your goal. Planning on going to the gym? Go a few times a week maximum, then every other month add another day. See how it goes for you but don't expect a very quick change. Every movie montage of Rocky didn't show a transition of a few minutes but of a few months. You think you are better than Rocky? Maybe you are but if you are a human like the rest of us then it will take a bit more than some temporary can-do attitude and some ill-conceived cycling shorts to convince you to keep going. Play the long game, it's more effective.
Here's one alternative to the New Year New You resolution that you can think about. Use the new years resolution not to take up or give up something but to enhance something you are doing already either by increasing the time you are taking to do it, putting more money into it or something else similar. Enhance what you do every new year and go to the next level. This of course requires you taking the first and long steps already.
Happy New year! Be a better you, and take the long road. Should short term changes be forgot and never brought to mind? Should old resolutions be forgot for the sake of long term change!