As the holidays come around and, just as quickly, begin to wind down, it becomes the hot topic of the season. Everywhere you look, every social media site, every independent online article, every conversation, turns to focus on the subject of the New Years’ Resolution. Whether losing weight, saving more money, finally getting around to all those home renovation projects, or just simply taking the next year to focus on yourself and your personal goals, everyone has something in their life that they want to see accomplished. And as is so often noted: the hardest part is just getting started. Hence why the tradition of setting a New Years’ Resolution is so popular and, for many of us, is so helpful.
The beginning of a New Year marks the start of something special, symbolically turning to a new chapter of each of our lives, opening onto a blank page full of possibilities. It’s a refreshing and exciting beginning of good things to come, and is no doubt why so many choose this day in particular to begin the first step of their journey towards their aspirations.
Personally, I’m not a fan of this idea.
Why wait to go after a dream? If you have something that you want to make happen or to see in your life, why in the world would you wait until January 1 rolls around every year to take that first step?
The problem with the New Years’ Resolution mindset is the culture it breeds. In my experience, this thought process seems to set the precedent of a “get to it…eventually” mindset that, when it comes to striving towards goals of self-improvement, is horribly counter-intuitive. Even more dangerous, by waiting around for weeks (or sometimes even months) at a time, we even run the risk out of talking ourselves out of these goals before we can even begin. It’s “too much work,” “It’s just a silly dream of mine,” “It’s just not realistic,” or any other number of excuses. Instead of just realizing our aspiration and diving in to it to make a positive change right then and there, we feel the need to wait around for the New Year instead, all the while running the gauntlet of self-doubt and silent second-guessing.
Maybe it really is just as simple as that sense of fear: fear that such a change will take a lot of work. Fear that we’ll fail. Fear that others won’t understand or won’t support an idea. The truth is, those fears are all very legitimate and all too often very real. When you wait to chase a dream, it’s far too easy to get wrapped up in thinking about the short-term “what if”, instead of realizing the long-term. When you aspire to accomplish anything, no matter what it may be, don’t put it off until the “right moment.” Take life by the horns and go after it, right then and there. Life won’t hand you the “right moment” to go after your goal – it only comes when you make it for yourself.