New year, new start, new beginnings. In just a few days we will be in the presence of 365 days of the blank canvas that is 2019, brimming with space to be filled with our new year resolutions. So…how’s it coming along so far?
There can be a temptation to be somewhat ambitious with our resolutions; ‘I shall go to the gym every day’, ‘No more alcohol for me’, ‘I am going to lose 3 stone by Easter.’ I guess we shouldn’t be surprised when we fall at the first hurdle. Sticking to major lifestyle changes like this can be daunting and can be quite a shock to the system after our Christmas indulgences.
And when we do fall off our New Year wagon before the end of January, it’s as if we don’t need to try again because that whole New Year thing is over now and it may as well wait til next year. That’s when I remind myself that each week, each day can be seen as a new start and there is never a bad time to try again. On any road paved with good intentions, there are bound to be a few potholes to fall into on the way!
It’s been suggested that resolutions based around giving something up for January are not really very worthwhile, because a month is not long enough to make a difference in the body. That doesn’t seem very encouraging to me. Maybe it’s not long enough to change our physiology, but it is long enough to break a habit. Saying you are making a permanent change can be quite scary. Why not ease yourself into it gradually by starting with a month? Already during that month you are getting into the new way of doing things, building better habits for the future.
If you can manage a month, then you can have a sense of achievement in making it so far. Perhaps a month will become three months, will become a year. There may be other beneficial effects too. I find that once I make one change, however small, I find myself considering other changes and before I know it, all manner of aspects of my life are having a spring-clean. Change becomes the habit, growth becomes the habit. And with a habit like that, the world is your proverbial oyster!