We are at that that time of year when many of us spontaneously, impulsively declare by way of a New Year’s resolution that effective January 1, 12:00:01, we will instantly become a different person.
Old habits will immediately vaporize, to be replaced by new and enduring ones.
At that magic moment, we will instantaneously transform from smoker to non-smoker, drinker to non-drinker, 225 pounds to 180. (Okay that transformation won’t be instant. However, it will begin at that moment and the journey will continue until the mission is accomplished.)
We will also make a New Year’s resolution to be on time, go back to school and complete that degree, go to the gym – and push ourselves hard – at least three times each week.
To wake up one hour earlier each morning and go for a run before hitting the shower and off to work. There is a whole host of wishful thinking that we have resolved to commence on New Year’s Day many times before.
The New Year’s resolution: It doesn’t work
I have long been an advocate of the New Year’s resolution. My advocacy is somewhat different to most as I have encouraged those close to me to only resolve to do one thing: never again make a New Year’s resolution.
Study after study has shown the short life-span of the New Year’s resolution. Few last beyond the first few days of the year. Almost none survive January.
There is a reason why the odds are so heavily stacked against success.
Imagine for a moment you own a laptop that is running on an ancient operating system – perhaps you are the one person on the planet still using Vista. You go online and excitedly download the newest, glitziest app you can find.
You can’t wait to begin using it.
And then, when you do, it is sluggish, slow and performs well below your expectations.
And you realize the problem. Your operating system is old and completely incompatible with your shiny new app.
Now think of that New Year’s resolution as your new app. You’re ready to use it and are excited about what it can do. However, it is going to run on the same operating system you have been using for many years – all those thoughts, feelings and emotions you believe to be true.
And by January 2 when the clash between your operating (belief) system and your resolution becomes apparent, invariably you set aside that resolution not realizing that it really had little chance of success because you have not upgraded your operating system.
Today is not the day
So today, New Year’s Eve, is not the day to pledge great new beginnings tomorrow. Instead, if there are changes you would like to experience in your life then take some time today, identify what those changes are.
Then, ask yourself truthfully how important each item on that list is to you – how badly you want this – and then set it aside as a project to come back to in the near future.
If you truly are serious about achieving the results on your list, then I invite you to closely examine your current operating system, and take some time to upgrade it so that it will be compatible with the changes you wish to bring into your life. Consider enlisting the help of a coach.
By first working on upgrading your operating system, you will certainly take longer to reach your goals. The question to ask is this: do I want fast, immediate and almost certainly short-term results, or do I want permanent and sustainable results?
If you picked Option 2, then let’s work together in 2017 to sustainably upgrade your operating system to V2.0 – the new you.
Happy New Year.
Till we read again.