Every year, without fail, people engage in a peculiar habit that often ends in failure. Any guesses as to what it is? It gets to be late December, New Year’s is rapidly approaching and people start saying to themselves, “This is going to be my year. This next year, I’m going to (blah, blah, blah)…” It’s the same resolutions every year. And then comes the list of things they are going to do: join a gym; get back in shape; make more money; lose weight; be a better friend; go back to school; learn how to play the guitar (guilty); learn a foreign language…it doesn’t matter what, but 99% of these resolutionists will fail.
“This is going to be my year. This next year, I’m going to (blah, blah, blah)”
Whatever righteous desire they’ve had and held on to for the past year, they declare it and make it into this years New Year’s resolution. Be honest, are you someone who is guilty of this? The fact is we all are. But maybe you’re the different resoluter and you’re still holding strong in March. Probably not though. These things are inherently doomed from the get go.
Most anyone can stick to something for a week, even two, hell maybe even a month, but habits will slacken and the discipline soon fades. Maybe it’s because they know another New Years Day is coming and they can just try again next January 1st. Well, here we are in early March already. Are you really going to wait another 11 months to commit to changing your life again?
Epictetus asked the same question:
“How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?”
The answer should be an obvious one: Not a second longer. Don’t wait to better yourself based on some arbitrary day of the year. That is why 99% of New Year’s Resolutions will eventually fail. Don’t sit back and wait to demand more of yourself. There isn’t a magic day, or a magic book, or a magic habit. Most of all, if you are going to make that big change it doesn’t come from one event or moment or day, it comes from the thousands of little alterations—so don’t pretend that there will be an ideal time to change yourself.