The surge is coming. By January 1, every bench, pull-up bar, and treadmill at the gym I frequent will be packed with brand new “Resolvers.” Ironically, it may be the best time to take off from the gym, but as with every year, like clockwork, the surge will only last a month, max.
According to Forbes.com, only 8% of people who make resolutions actually keep them. This is part of what professor Timothy Pychyl of Carleton University in Canada calls “cultural procrastination,” the idea that “I’ll change my whole life, starting January 1.”
While certain events can change a person’s life in an instant, it takes time and effort to actively make a noticeable change in one’s own life. It’s all about maintenance. Working hard, you can lose ten pounds in four weeks, but if you can’t sustain that lifestyle, those ten pounds will come right back. If you aim to keep tabs on your expenses better, remember that you have expenses almost every day of every year of your life.
So rather than wait for the magical January 1 to begin a magical transformation that lasts two weeks, start the change now. If you want to make lasting changes to your life, ease into it, make it a part of your daily routine, and, better yet, make it fun.
For example, if fitness is your goal, join a class or a running group. Mixing the social element with your resolution will give you a whole new set of like-minded friends. You will motivate them, and they will motivate you. Last year, I started taking kickboxing on a whim, and it was so much fun that I kept coming back, not every week, but regularly enough.
Imperfection is perfectly acceptable; if you take a step back, you can still take two steps forward. If you miss a day at the gym, oh well. Come back the next day. If you miss a week of expense accounting, check your balance and start anew. Make your resolutions daily, and you won’t have to deal with the pressure of the ominous NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION.
The more you motivate yourself to do something today, the more likely you are to get it done than to wait for a day that may never come. It takes small steps and small sacrifices to build something great, just as every individual day can build into a great year. See what you can accomplish by taking action today, and you may just be that person watching the yearly ebb and flow of “Resolvers” with a smile on your face.