One week into the New Year, we have our final resolution: we resolve to no longer resolve. We’re over making a list of resolutions on December 31st, just to dread it by mid-January, and forget it all together by February 1st.
Don’t get us wrong: there is absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to resolve one’s life and personal circumstances as soon as the clock strikes midnight, and every effort to seek our betterment and personal change is always applauded. We get it; there’s something about creating that list of resolutions, something that allows us to head into a new year of uncertainty and unknowns with the idea that we are the slightest bit familiar and comfortable with what heads our way. The only issue is, it doesn’t work.
Researchers estimate less than 10% of New Year’s resolutions are fully realized over the course of a new year. The science behind this says it is because our goals aren’t clear enough, we’ve kept the same mindset as the year before, or we even expect to fail, and plenty of other reasons.
A resolution, simply defined, is our decision to either do something or to not do it. The biggest issue is that a resolution is simply that: what to do or not to do. Nowhere in creating our resolutions are we giving a starting point, the necessary mentality or any other building blocks to even begin resolving. Whatever the reason may be, it’s time to give up that resolution’s list; time to give up the notion that at midnight, we are automatically primed and prepped to check off every box for every resolution we make.
With resolutions, we approach them a list of steps, as boxes to check off, with a one and done mentality and something to dive into without preparation, practice or even a swimsuit. And with that, many of us believe if we fail (or never even get started to begin with), we have to wait until next year. But that’s about to change.
Instead, this year, we resolve to resolve our approach to resolutions. Reframing our thinking is in; avoiding waiting around for the next New Year to attack our goals, dreams and desires is out. As always, we are proponents of the idea that the best way to accomplish our personal evolutions is by starting today, tomorrow, next week, in October; whenever you are ready, whenever you want.
In Japanese business culture and philosophy, there is the phrase “kaizen,” meaning continuous improvement. It’s the idea that improvement is possible wherever you feel it is needed, and it’s possible in a manner that’s consistent, long-term, and habitual. With “kaizen,” every split second is an opportunity, and there is no need to wait for the end of the year. It’s approaching life with a “seize the moment” kind of attitude, realizing that if you want it, you can have it; it’s up to you when to start.
This approach, or any similar mentality, is one that allows us to take our big, intangible goals and break them down into our personal habits and daily lives. Your resolutions don’t have to be one dreaded task with no obvious starting point and no clear due date. Instead, they are your daily mentality, your personal prerogative, your constant journey. Our year-long proposed evolutions can be more approachable, more realistic, and more tangible than ever before.
So if you’re already dreading checking out your resolutions list for 2022, or maybe have even forgotten about it by now, don’t worry. Continue to allow yourself to be motivated by the symbolism of ringing in a New Year, of achieving the proverbial clean slate with 365 more days of life, 365 opportunities of improvement, realization and fulfillment. Just do it differently.
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