Welcome to 2017. Welcome to the season for making an annual commitment to change…something.
You have a whole year ahead of you to make use of for meeting a goal (or several goals) that you set for yourself, assuming everything goes your way and you make the right decisions. Maybe you’ll set a goal that you made because you had the support of a friend, or you’ll set a goal that has been simmering in your head as something you would like to change because you could or should be a better person somehow. The start of a new year is the traditional time to set a reasonable (or unreasonable) bar for yourself, to commit to change the thing that seems like a good idea to change: “self, I am pretty awesome, but I would like to be less of something, and more of something else. I want to be a better version of myself.”
I may sound ready to launch into a discussion on why I think New Year’s Resolutions are a terrible idea, but I don’t think they are. I am a big believer in personal change – I know that within each of us is the ability to make changes to things that we don’t always think are possible, and I’m one of those rare pollyanna types who believes that everyone is capable of change. Everyone. I also think that sometimes a group discussion with your peers about self-change can be a positive catalyst.
I still balk at the concept of New Year’s Resolutions. Not because I don’t believe in them, but because I believe that change is possible at any time, and that real change is sometimes wrought with nuances – lots of changes in circumstances, wavering in commitment, that sort of thing. I don’t believe in lemming down the path of making change because it’s a thing to do on December 31st. I think that if you really want to quit smoking or lose weight or be healthier, you will fucking do it when you have that come to Jesus moment with yourself and decide to make it happen. I know that you can do it, because every human being has an astonishing capacity for stubbornness and self-will that can be used for both destructive and constructive purposes, even if we have take-backsies.
If you’ve made some annual resolution that you are serious about keeping, then the question isn’t about when you will decide to change, it’s why do you want to change? What do you want out of it? What is really important to you? Do you want to make that change because someone else doesn’t like you, or because you really do want to be a better, happier, more satisfied version of yourself?
If you really want to make a change, you will be completely serious about setting yourself up for success. You will know that the path will not be straightforward and end with a single pronouncement of, “I’ll never do that again.” And you already know that it may be much, much harder than it sounded in theory, at 11 pm on December 31st. You’ll be ready to accept the discomfort, and you will want that future. Your desire to be better will outweigh all your other priorities, including laziness.
So what will you do with your shiny new year? I don’t think it matters, I’m more interested in what you want to do for yourself, and how I can help you make that happen.