It’s ok. I haven’t gone crazy quite yet. I know we haven’t actually had Christmas yet. There’s still time for some last minute (presumably online) gift shopping, mince pie-making and mistletoe-hanging. I still want to talk resolutions, though.
New year resolutions are one of those things we all love to hate. We indulge ourselves over the holidays, offering the constant reassurance that we’ll be able to undo it all with our new saint-like dedication and focus come January 1st. As if this year faced with evidence from every single year previously, the first of January will come with the Fairy Godmother of Good Behaviour and Willpower.
In case you hadn’t guessed, I don’t put much faith in Fairy Godmothers.
There’s nothing magical about the first of January. I’m not going to suddenly make a 180 degree transformation and put right everything I want to change in my life on a single day. And thinking about enjoying the holidays as a ‘sin’ I have to make up for in the new year is hardly a healthy approach to life.
Let’s address that last point first. Resolving to make changes in your life (which I hope I’m going to convince you is a rather different proposition to making a New Year’s Resolution) doesn’t have to come from a place of unhappiness, or worse, deprivation. I don’t think about the behaviours that I want to avoid. I focus on who I want to be. And I certainly don’t want the things I enjoy to be something I have to make up for. Instead, I focus on taking responsibility for the choices I’m making right now. I’m not going to tell myself that it’s ok to eat a third (ok, sixth) mince pie because I’m going to work it off with a run tomorrow. I’m going to tell myself that it’s ok to eat it because I have a healthy balanced diet and having a treat that I enjoy is a perfectly normal part of that.
This mindset can extend to your work-life balance as well. I meet loads of clients who tell me that they ‘excuse’ giving themselves a day off work by assuring themselves that they’ll work harder or longer the next day. Time off, time with your family, recovery, leisure, fun. These are not things you have to ‘earn’ with extra work or hours. They are an essential part of your life. Anyway, I digress.
The more important point is that there is no benefit in waiting until a set date to reassess your life or to make the changes you know you need to make. You have exactly nothing to gain by waiting. If you have looked at yourself and seen the need for change, that’s the moment to make the changes. It’s when you have the most motivation. The moment that you notice the need for change, you’re intimately connected with what motivates you. Use that connection.
I’ve noticed that loads of people have been on board with my thoughts about resolutions this year. Since the middle of November, I’ve had a huge influx of enquiries and new clients; people wanting to get started on making those changes right now. It’s been an honour and a privilege to be able to work with so many of you. And, let’s face it. We’re all probably better equipped to stick to the changes we want to make today than we will be on the morning of New Year’s Day. At least, I know I am. Slightly worse-for-wear and sleep-deprived is a recipe for grumpiness, not progress. At least, it is in my household.