No magic exists between December 31, 11:59 p.m. and January 1, 12:00 a.m. There is no power gained that will pave a clear path between you and what you want. Part of you knows this to be the truth, but another part remains hopeful. It’s why you continue to make the same resolution, year after year.
Let me suggest that it’s not for lack of want that you aren’t able to stick with your plan. You want to quit smoking, lose 20 pounds, keep your house organized, etc. But, another part of you doesn’t want to. It’s the latter that speaks louder when the clock strikes 12:00 a.m. on January 1, or whenever your alarm sounds and you hit the snooze button, missing your exercise class, deciding to skip breakfast to make up for it, binging on doughnuts late morning, then having a cigarette with your coffee. You hate the conflict of wanting it all and it leaves you hopeless, until December 31 rolls around again.
Don’t give up hope, just give up the false hope of the magic of a new year, new week, or new day! Baby New Year isn’t going to alleviate my cravings to overeat, so I have to put my hope in something besides a moment of time. Not to oversimplify or overlook the need to work through any underlying issues, but I’ve learned that little habits help propel big change. Obsessing and focusing solely on the thing I want to change seems to make it worse.
I want to lose 20 pounds. Instead of seeing that as the ultimate goal, I know it will be a side effect of other small habits I implement. My worst food cravings are evenings and weekends. By being intentional with a few habits earlier in the day and consistently through the week, the evening/weekend cravings are manageable. The habits don’t even have to be food related, though some can be.
Habits that help me are actions like waking up without hitting the snooze button, reading a Bible verse on my phone, having my gym bag and food packed and ready the night before a workday, getting away from my desk for a morning and afternoon break to walk with a friend, listening to upbeat Christian music and podcasts on my phone, having meaningful conversations with friends, crocheting, and reading/writing. Not everything is food related, but intentional choices are motivation for more intentional choices.
Think about what you want and what you can change to help you get there. What are some of your perpetual New Year’s resolutions, and are you inspired to start immediately?