It’s the time when we think about making New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know about you but over the years I’ve vowed to :-
- cut down on alcohol
- stop eating junk food
- reduce my sugar intake
- exercise more
- take up yoga
- learn to play the piano
- stop procrastinating.
And that’s just the things I can think of right now.
It probably won’t surprise you to learn that I never kept a single on of my New Year’s resolutions. And I’m guessing I’m not alone – or even unusual – in that. Those well-meaning promises we make as the champagne (who am I kidding? – Prosecco) corks pop at the stroke of midnight are generally forgotten within a few days.
So why do we do it? Why do we tell ourselves we’re going to be better people just because the number at the top of the calendar is changing? Maybe we really believe that it’s easier to make a big change at the start of a shiny new year. Especially if we tell our friends and family about it, and perhaps even get them to join us.
But change isn’t easy. It takes motivation and a lot of thought. You need to really want to make that change, not just think it sounds good as the New Year’s chimes come to an end. Promising yourself you’re going to stop smoking isn’t going to work unless you really want to stop. And you have to be able to achieve the change – don’t swear you’ll take up yoga if you have no idea how you’ll find the time.
I’ve decided I’m not going to make any New Year’s resolutions this year. Rather than pressurise myself to think of a way I’m going to improve, I’m going to remind myself that change can happen at any time. I can tackle those things about myself that I’m not happy with when I’m ready. I can think about the benefits of change, work on my motivation, and then take action.
So maybe this time next year there’ll be a new me. Or maybe not.