The New Year is coming, so I thought we should discuss New Years Resolutions. A promise to one’s self to behave differently, but not today. Rather, tomorrow or in a week or in a month. It reminds me of a quote from my favourite saint: “Lord make me pure, but not yet”.
Saint Augustine was a notorious partier, and he wanted to reform but equally he wasn’t ready to stop doing what he enjoyed. He knew who he wanted to be and what needed to be done, but he pegged the time for change at another day when presumably a change of behaviour would be easier. After all, he was aware that old age would make a change in lifestyle inevitable.
I get that sometimes the prospect of change is easier when we give ourselves some time to ease into it. But if we’re not content to let destiny dictate when the change will happen, the problem becomes that for every day that we postpone the change we reinforce our own belief that the change isn’t necessary or important. For example, when we give ourselves permission to not quit smoking until the new year, it’s easier to give ourselves permission to continue pushing off the deadline or to quickly resume our old habits.
You can change your behaviour today, and thereby change your tomorrow. You don’t have to wait for the new year to start changing, or wait for next new year to try again when the first attempt almost inevitably fails (because change is hard and making mistakes is understandable).
Goals like eating healthier or not drinking are harder than usual during the holidays, but I guarantee that if you test your conviction with fire right from the start you’ll enter the new year with more confidence and a brighter outlook than a you would with a mere resolution without the force of conviction behind it.
Your commitment to eat healthier can start tonight even if you had nachos for lunch. All you need is a commitment to get as close to your ideal every day as you can. Failing in one moment doesn’t mean the day is a write-off, and you don’t need the next sunrise to mark a new opportunity for success. You can decide to “stop drinking your calories” halfway through a beer.
The year’s not over yet. Finish this one off as the person you hope to be in the next.
Posted in: Progress