According to the various sources I use to create my Pick Your Own Holiday Calendar, today is Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day. I don’t know how it came about, but I do suspect there is a reason for it.
And that makes me sad.
I know, I know. It’s probably just an ironic holiday, a joke that is fun to repeat. But I still can’t quite shake the feeling that there really are plenty of people who get excited about the new year, new possibilities, new opportunities – only to give up on them a mere 17 days later.
The way I see it, there are a couple of most likely reasons.
One is that it’s so easy to get carried away, to over-commit, to plan for something that simply doesn’t fit into our already busy days. On January 1st, when things look new and shiny, and anything seems possible, it’s so easy to say “I will dedicate at least an hour a day – no, make that two! — to my chosen activity.”
Be it blogging, jogging, promotion or self-care – if the time you previously dedicated to it is zero, finding two extra hours will likely prove to be mission impossible. The same goes for resolutions that may not take as much time, but where the effort to keep it up daily is much, much higher than anything you have done before.
We start out in high gear, optimistic and determined. We push ourselves harder than ever before. We keep it up for a couple of weeks, before other things start getting in the way. Before we begin questioning why we aren’t seeing the results yet. Before we, quite simply, burn out.
Of course, giving up seems like the only option at this point. But it isn’t.
Adjusting your resolution is a much better alternative.
Read this post on Treadmill resolutions for some ideas on how you can adjust it to work for you – every day.
Another reason for giving up might be that we our resolutions seem so far out of reach, that we simply don’t know where to start.
We look at our list of things like “make x amount of $,” “publish a book” and “double my customers.” We look at the first two weeks of 2012 to see if they have brought us any opportunities to do just that. If they haven’t, we put the list away and plan to come back to it when we know how to achieve them.
Then we forget all about it as we get lost in the day-to-day tasks.
But the only way to actually find those opportunities is to actively look for them, to make them happen – even if you have only a vague idea of how you can get there.
This post on Ladder resolutions might give you some ideas on how to move forward anyway.
Even though those posts were meant as a guide before you actually make your resolutions, the way I see it, it’s much better to adjust them on January 17th so you can stick to them all year – as opposed to making them on January 1st only to give up a couple of weeks later.
So instead of giving in and celebrating Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day, I declare today Adjust Your Resolutions So You Can Stick to Them All Year Day.