Are you ready for it?
New Year’s Day is quickly approaching and so are all those amazing resolutions you’re going to begin.
You rediscover a renewed ambition to lose weight, or begin that project, or achieve that promotion.
You wipe the slate clean. Time for a fresh start.
But here’s my question for you: why wait?
New Year’s Day is just around the corner but for many of us, our big goals are still over the horizon.
If you want to look great in that new outfit, or learn that new skill, why not start now?
We might say it’s because of the holidays! A time for festivity and to let loose. But I propose you start your resolutions now, even if take just a few tiny steps.
There is no “perfect time”
Let’s face it.
The right time never arrives and if it did, why not aim for today?
We appoint New Year’s Day as the perfect opportunity to embark on our personal goals. And trust me: I get it.
Waiting until New Year’s Day feels good. It’s a time of renewal. Starting over. A fresh slate. That’s why we get so excited to channel our annual mantra: “New year, new me. New year, new me.”
But why is it that so many give up on their resolutions shortly after starting?
That’s why I recommend you try this instead:
Instead of using New Year’s Day to start your resolutions, begin today and use New Year’s Day as a reminder of your commitment to self-improvement.
Because there is always something to gain from starting but so much to lose from delaying.
The Risk of Postponing Self-Improvement
Have you ever heard weight lifters talk about “the gains?”
These athletes understand that skipping a meal or a workout risks loss of “the gains.” When you postpone personal development to a later date, you also risk losing out on “the gains” for yourself.
Before you read on, I want to warn you that I’m about to share some tough love (but it’s only because I care and that I know you can handle it!)
Time is an invaluable resource that we never get back. Never.
And sometimes we spend this precious resource on poor decisions. We might spend the weekend over-indulging and binge-watching our favorite TV show, promising that everything will change Monday morning.
That weekend was an opportunity to begin your transformation. Time is currency and you spent it procrastinating.
Examine how you spend your time with a critical eye. Are you spending your hours doing what’s important to you or are you recklessly gambling your minutes away, hoping you’ll hit the jackpot on your goals?
Don’t postpone self-improvement. If you feel strongly about positive change, it will ignite a desire to start now.
Develop Habits Early
Starting your resolutions now adds the benefit of locking in good habits.
But the trick to building habits that stick is that it takes time. It’s a long-term investment but the dividends it pays on life improvement is immeasurable.
And to remember the value of a habit, think about something you do every day: brush your teeth. For many of us, brushing our teeth is an automatic behavior. We don’t even think about. We just do it.
What if your personal goals were as automatic as brushing your teeth?
Jogging every morning. Writing. Practicing gratitude.
You don’t think about doing these things. They just get done with little though or effort, like brushing your teeth.
Set yourself up for success in 2019 by riding on a habit already in motion.
Reduce the Pressure
The risk of tying your resolutions to the New Year holiday is that it packs on the pressure.
Don’t know what I mean?
Ever make a New Year resolution before and told everybody about it? You posted it on social media. You chatted about it with friends. Everybody knows.
Then a few months into the new year—maybe March or April, your motivation wanes and suddenly you’re running on fumes. Where was that burning drive you started with?
Now self-dread and disappointment emerges. You promised to yourself and everybody around you that this year is different. Now you harbor the silent shame that you came short of your goals yet again.
Or you can take a different route.
One route is to just start now. A silent commitment to self-development that you don’t need to monumentalize with the new year. Just a goal to set in motion and follow through.
No holiday. Just a promise to yourself.
You know what you want to do, you will do it, and that is enough.
According to a Forbes article, only 8% of people actually accomplish their New Years resolutions.
Can you believe that?
Less than 10% of people stick with their personal commitments.
Dan Recio shares productivity and goal-setting strategies at Motivationalist for those ready to fight the war against mediocrity. Enter the fray with his free guide: 7 Simple Habits to Conquer the Week.
Image courtesy of Brooke Lark.