The New Year is fast approaching. It’s a time for a new start. A time to start eating right, exercising more and taking on 101 new habits to make you a better you. Don’t do it. It won’t work. But I’ll let you in on a little secret…
You don’t need to start on 1 Jan. 10:37 on any given Wednesday works just as well. If you like the clean start a new page on the calendar gives you then there are 12 months you can pick. Or 52 Mondays.
The problems with January 1
January 1 is a bad time to turn over a new leaf. It is fresh on the back of a hectic month when you are out of your routine. The indulgences of Christmas might spur you on in the short term but willpower is a finite resource and as the memory of Christmas fades so will your good intentions.
If you start the new year with a number of intentions to change it can be overwhelming. It is better to pick one change and get comfortable with it before embarking on another.
Some habits you might be looking to adopt are not well placed for a January start date. Activities like cycling and running can be less engaging when it’s cold, wet or icy. Why add to the challenge of a new routine when a spring start would have more accommodating weather?
If a new habit needs a new year to start then what happens when like 90% of folks you give up in mid-January? Do you wait another 50 weeks to start again?
Don’t make resolutions
If you want to change your life in some way don’t make resolutions. Set goals and then formulate plans to achieve them. A deviation from the plan is not a failure, it’s just a setback that can be recovered from. And remember life is about progress, not perfection.