Happy new year...but beware!
2015 has finished and 2016 has rolled on in. At this time of year, the New Years resolutions start to come to mind. Many people even go a step further and cement in some new goals. This is good. At this time of year, many of us have a little more time on our hands for reflection and introspection. If you don’t already know what your goals are for the next 12 months and what you’re going to do to move toward them, it is essential that you do this as soon as possible.
One thing I think is really important to remember around this time is that 1 January is a completely arbitrary date. While our clocks and calendars follow the cycle of various physical events such as the rotation of the Earth and its orbit around the sun, unless you’re putting down a vege garden, the actual date you start on a particular activity usually has no impact on your chances of success.
And one of the biggest traps that I and many others have fallen into over the years is waiting until some arbitrary time like the start of a new year to kick things off. There is no start line that you have to travel to before you can start on your goals.
Someone might decide to start eating healthier and lose some weight. When is the best time for them to start? Monday? The first of next month? The first day of next year? I would say none of these options is as good as right now.
Have you ever heard of someone who is going to start a diet on Monday so they spend the weekend eating as much junk food as possible? It’s as if nothing counts until Monday. The universe doesn’t care about that. Every time you eat a whole pizza the day before starting off on your diet, you are moving away from your goal making the road a bit harder. To take the advice from the better nutrition and dieting material I’ve read, a better thing to do would be to get up right now, throw all the junk food in the house away and start that new nutrition plan immediately.
Just as the universe doesn’t care to wait until Monday for you to start your goal, it doesn’t mind if you mess up either. Failure to stick to a goal you were supposed to have started yesterday does not mean everything is hopeless. So many so-called “New Years resolutions” are cast aside by the middle of January. We start off with the best of intentions and may make good progress. One of the key things that will determine whether we ultimately succeed or fail lies in what we do when the first obstacle comes along. The first day we can’t make it to the gym. The first day there is nothing in the house but cake. The first day that we were saving money but the opportunity to buy a really awesome doodad or nick-nack comes up. Very rarely does an obstacle or a slip-up spell complete failure. The lack of getting back on track and picking up where we left of is what does it.
The universe doesn’t care to wait for Monday and it doesn’t mind if you slip up once in a while. The best time to start working toward your goals is right now. The second-best time is tomorrow. Don’t wait until Monday or the first day of next month to get started. The inspiration and motivation might have worn off by then. Get going now while you’re still feeling the most excited about it. And when things go wrong, as they will from time to time, and the temptation to stray off track is too much, don’t beat yourself up for it and don’t give up. Just pick youself up, dust yourself off and start again tomorrow.