How many of us start writing a list of things we want to achieve in the New Year, and then 3 months down the line end up being exactly the same person we were 3 months ago? *guiltily raises hand.*
A new year means a chance to relive all of the months and seasons again. It’s a time when most of us feel inspired to make deeper changes within ourselves and our lives, so that this time round, the months and seasons are better than the last.
The start of a new year, both metaphorically and quite literally, is a clean slate.
It’s this clean slate which can make the task of changing ourselves feel a little less daunting, as we can now do the things we want without the weight and baggage of last year’s failures upon our shoulders.
Unfortunately the reality is that many of us don’t achieve the goals we set. We speak these new changes we want to make into existence, we write them down, we tell our friends and family. But they never translate into something tangible. We take a begrudging look back at that list on our phones or on our walls, feeling an internal deflating with every check box that has been left unticked.
So why do we keep failing our new year goals?
I’m sure there are many theories already out there, but personally, I think that making changes in the new year is too late.
If we try to achieve things in the new year, and then make mistakes when we’re supposed to be this ‘new person’, it’s much easier to feel demotivated. We take our unaccomplished goals as an absolute truth that there is no point bothering – after all, if you can’t get it right in the new year, when can you get it right? Right?
When we wait until the new year to do things in our lives that may make us uncomfortable for the sake of self-improvement or self-growth, it’s too easy to fall into old habits and seek comfort instead. We’re not used to the change, and it makes us feel uneasy.
Trying to spend more time connecting with friends is too difficult. You’re just too busy. Saving money is hard. It’s too much effort. The timing is all wrong. Perhaps we should take it as a sign that we shouldn’t bother making these changes yet. Besides, everybody around us keeps making jokes about how they too have failed on their resolutions so ‘best to wait until new year ay.’
Leave behind the work banter about failing. Failing isn’t funny anymore. We are trying to glo-up in here bish. It’s time to swap ‘I’m not ready for 2018’ to ‘2018 ain’t even ready for me.’
So how can you make sure you don’t fail your New Year’s Resolution’s once again?
Make December the new new year.
Say goodbye to things that no longer serve you this month. See this as a time for letting go, and carving the way for new beginnings.
Prepare yourself in advance for long-term changes you want to make. December should be the building block to creating your new self.
Now, I’m not saying start ALL resolutions in December (I mean, who really wants to start healthy eating when you could indulge in a month of mince pie heaven instead?) But you should at least start practicing habits that will make your new resolutions a little easier when January comes around.
Also, I’m not saying this is foolproof. You might make a few failures, but that’s the beauty of it. December is basically a short trial run. It’s better to get it wrong now, than later in the new year, where you may feel more demotivated that the ‘new you’ isn’t living up to the standards you set yourself, resulting in you giving up completely.
Start with the small steps. Schedule a phone call with that friend you’ve been too busy to speak to, start that savings account you wanted to start, leave behind these trash ass men that are playing games. The new year is serious business. No fuck boys in here, please.
This way, when January comes, you’re already ahead. You’ve already paved the way for the new year to be different. And then continuing to make changes won’t be so uncomfortable, as you’ve spent a month beginning to get used to them.
To me, December is about closing chapters to things in my life that I don’t want to carry forward into the new year. I am taking the time to mourn my past, acknowledging a lot of painful feelings and making a conscious effort to say a mental goodbye to habits that no longer serve me.
One step I’m making is to stop investing time grieving over lost friendships and relationships. I refuse to let this habit follow me into January. So, I created a folder full of pictures I no longer want to reminisce on, and will spend this month consciously not looking back at them. It’s time to practice focusing my energy on the present and my future.
Now, when the new year comes, I will be one step closer to starting the new year as the person I want to be.
And when last year’s fuck boy calls you up, you can say ‘new me who dis?’ and mean it.
Say it with me: ‘2018 AIN’T EVEN READY FOR THIS.’