Saturday, 4 December 2010

Throw out the New Year's Resolution - Make an Old Year's Resolution

“I'm going to stop putting things off, starting tomorrow!” Sam Levenson 

January the 1st, the first day of the New Year, and in my opinion probably the worst day of the year to start a new resolution. 

I know plenty of people completely disagree with me. In fact, so many people disagree with me that a whole tradition exists of starting a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ on exactly January 1st every single year. So I had better explain my slightly obscure reasoning.

When we’re trying to start something new or give up something old, it’s usually not easy. That’s why we haven’t managed it up until now and so we decide to throw our most powerful weapon at it, ‘The New Year’s Resolution’. How could anything possibly stand in its way? 

The problem is that the New Year very quickly becomes the Old Year and that new thing we wanted to do remains the New Year’s Resolution, ready and waiting again for the next January 1st.

To start doing something new, or to give up an old habit, we need all the support we can get. It’s going to be much, much easier if we’re generally feeling positive about life, have lots to look forward to and are surrounded by our family and friends.

January 1st, how are we feeling? Christmas is over, we’re bored of the new gadgets, we’re thinking about our credit card bills. Maybe the hangover from the New Year’s celebrations is starting to kick in. We stumble out of bed to say goodbye to friends and family as they start their long journey home. Tomorrow, we go back to work.

Oh and just one more thing, our New Year’s resolution has started. It’s time to give up smoking and run 5km every morning. If we manage that, I’m sure we’d feel better but if you’re anything like me, it’s not very likely to happen. So what hope is there? Well, here’s an idea:

Why not make an Old Year’s Resolution?

Why put it off until the hardest day of the year, why not think about it now and start today, before January 1st arrives. Now is a great time to start a new resolution for a few reasons:
  • By the time January 1st comes, it will already be a habit and we can make a flying start to the New Year.
  • We can tell all our friends and family over the holidays and get their support.
  • There’s a good chance we’ll be feeling cheery during the season of good cheer and it’s much easier to stick to a resolution when we’re already feeling good and looking forward to the holidays.

How great would it be to wake up on January 1st having already achieved the hardest part of our New Year’s resolutions? So, right now it's December 4th 2010, I’m starting my Old Year’s Resolutions today!

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  1. :), So far how's it going? You're technically one week into your head start at a New Year's Res. I'm guessing you'll be pro by the time Jan. 1 comes along.

    You've sold me on this idea... It's still Friday, December 10th where I am; I've got a few more weeks.

  2. @Cora
    Its going very well so far thanks Cora. The only issue I've had is remembering that I've already started! Luckily I saw my blog post again a couple of days ago and it reminded me :)