I have spent a large part of my entire life in a gym, from going to the daycare when I was younger, to running laps with my parents around the indoor track, to getting my first job in the same daycare I attended, and to finally finding my own passion and love for exercise. However, through these years, I have heard the same New Year’s Resolution’s joke: “It’ll be crazy for all of January and then be dead by February.” This joke did ring true for the gym I worked at and attended, however, the basis behind it always confused me. Why do people decide to wait a full year to better themselves? Why do we as people leave the first day of the new year as the only day to start over?
Dreams are easy to imagine. It’s harder to shape them into goals, but then trying to get to those goals by making habits is even harder. We make it easier for ourselves by saying “I’ll start that in the new year,” but then, when we fail to make the habit, fail to keep our resolutions, and ultimately fail at reaching our goals, again we say “I’ll try again next year.” Why do we not say “I’ll try again next month? Next week? Tomorrow?”
As a society, we put a weight on ourselves to start off the week right. Monday always needs to be productive, or the rest of the week will be wasted. If you don’t go to the gym on the first Monday of January, you’ll never go to the gym again. And if we don’t do those things, we just have to wait for the next week, month, or year. But what we fail to realize is that we have the power to start over whenever we want.
For example, many try to start diets around the new year. But, for some reason, someone may wake up one morning and decide “I’m going to ignore my diet and eat…” For many, at this point, they may think “Well my diet’s ruined, I guess I’ll restart next week,” or the alternative solution is admitting that you may have not had a good breakfast, but you can restart that same day. You do not have to wait for Monday, next week, next month, or even next year to continue working on your goals. By doing this, you may not be keeping the routine that you want, but you are keeping the habit. Goals are reached by keeping habits.
Many of us at this point may already have failed New Year’s resolutions. These resolutions, however, don’t have to be saved for just the new year. If you were wanting to go to the gym more often, you can go tomorrow. If your goal was to drink more water, you can drink another glass tonight. If your goal was to be more productive, download an app to work on that now.
Progress in whatever goal you may have is never linear. But we as a society need to grow past this idea that we can only make resolutions at the start of a new time. We have the power to start over whenever we want. We can start over at the beginning of any month, not only January. We can restart our week on any day, not only Mondays. And we can even restart our days at noon. Just because we have made one mistake does not mean that we have to now give up our goals completely.