Even though a new year beautifully symbolises an ideal new chapter opening with endless possibilities, let’s get real for a moment, how many people can hand on their heart say they have committed 100% to a new year’s resolution… If you can well done because in more cases than not I am not successful.
So apparently 10% of us will keep to our New Year’s Resolutions, which means that 90% of us will stumble across the little ‘New Year New Me’ note we left for ourselves around March and be filled with a little pit of sadness and nostalgia for our notably far-fetched hopes and desires. Because for some reason when January 1st hits, we wholeheartedly convince ourselves that we will be able to turn our lives around a whole 180 degrees and undergo the personality change of the century.
It’s time to question why we allow what is seemingly just a big fat Monday to dictate to us why we need to change who we are. Because let’s face it, just like you can’t change yourself overnight on May 1st, June 18th, or October 25th, why does January 1st cause a worldwide scare pandemic of feeling the need to change?
Of course, don’t get me wrong if you feel there is something in your life that you feel you need to change then by all means use the 1st of Jan as your kickstarting motivator, but please don’t be disheartened when you reach March and you haven’t been drinking green tea every morning and adding a 5k run into your pre-9am morning routine. It’s just not feasible.
Like many of us we just use the month of December as a method of procrastination, for many university students, with a not so festive month filled with deadlines, we seem to lose touch of who we really are. I’m not sure about you but I’m lucky if I get my 5 fruit and veg a week let alone my 5 a day *sorry mum*. But this is simply due to the fact that I procrastinate any form of self-improvement until the new year!
‘I should start eating better’… ‘Oh I’ll wait until the new year’… ‘I need to start reading again’… ‘Oh I’ll wait until the new year’… ‘I need to go back to the gym’… you guessed it ‘I’ll wait until the new year’. It’s a vicious and endless cycle of extreme procrastination. I as well as many others need to start questioning why we are waiting for the 1st of January when all that it is, is essentially the Big Fat Monday of the year!
Why not start today? The moment you finish this article even to start implementing positive and healthy changes into your lifestyle, stop waiting for Monday and even more importantly stop waiting for January the 1st. Because for some unknown wild and crazy reason the moment the new year starts to creep in, we genuinely believe we can have an overnight lifestyle and personality change and then are left confused a week into the new year as to why we aren’t a different person, to the mere one week before?!
Here’s my proposal: stop creating unrealistic overnight goals and instead break them down into small attainable goals that can be implemented each week; not even on a Monday, be crazy implement a change in your life on a Friday! If you have a lot of habits you want to change/ introduce into your life, the last visible thing to be doing is remodelling your entire life overnight.
This is why it is a good idea to take on any change one step at a time and focus on them until they come a natural habit within your day. According to research, it takes 66 days, on average, for a behaviour to become automatic. For example, let’s say we want to have a more productive morning routine, start by one week introducing a skincare routine of some sorts, the next introducing journaling for 5 minutes… and so on and so forth.
It takes patience don’t get me wrong, so many times I have tried this myself and failed because life has gotten in the way but that’s okay. Committing to a goal doesn’t necessarily, in my opinion, just mean that we commit to the same goal every day, it’s about being able to recognise that life happens, and sometimes we need to mould our goals to suit our life, not the other way round.
The psychology of new year’s is fascinating, we feel this need to change and implement the most weird and wonderful habits into our lives on January 1st, but this needs to change, start now, why wait?! Because you can do this, we can all do this, stop waiting for a January makeover, when you have tomorrow or today!