Do you know why people set New Years’ Resolutions for January 1?
Because there really is something about timing things, perhaps because of the anticipation, that gives you a little boost of inspiration/motivation and help with accomplishing your goals.
But of course, we all know that the vast majority of these well-meaning resolutions fall through, sometimes before the first day of the year is even over.
At this time, a fraction of people will just throw their hands up in the air and give up entirely (Group 1).
Another fraction will continue to power on, but of those folks, some will give up later (Group 2).
And very few will actually follow through (Group 3).
Statistically, the probability that you’re in groups 1 or 2 is extremely high.
So if that’s you, here’s a message:
DON’T BE DISCOURAGED!
Because, here’s the secret:
New Years’ doesn’t come once a year.
At least, it doesn’t have to.
In other words, if you messed up this excellent timing/starting point for whatever habit/endeavor/etc you want to do this year, you can try again, on another “auspicious date.”
Sure, there’s something nicely satisfying about the date 1/1, but there are plenty of other (official) new years’ celebrated around the globe. Like…
- Lunar New Year, aka Chinese New Year (or Korean, Japanese, East-Asian-General New Year), which takes place around the end of January/beginning of February.
- Or the Ancient Greek New Year which began with the new moon after June 21.
- Or the Jewish Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur which takes place in September/October.
- Or your birthday, which is, literally, a new year for you, even if it’s not for most of the people in the world (but that doesn’t matter–they have their own birthdays to celebrate)
And do you have to be East Asian, Jewish, Ancient Greek to celebrate these dates as your “New Years, Take 2 (or 3 or 4?)”
Go ahead and celebrate any or all of these New Years’ if it helps.
When you fail at setting that habit or doing that project or whatever it is you wanted to do (and you WILL fail, sooner or later, every now and then. Just get used to that idea and stop being surprised or disappointed when it happens, and you’ll be able to get up quicker), pick another starting line, get yourself together, and go again.
And again, and again, and again.
Until you get up more times than you fall down.
That’s how you make it.
Oh, and another thing:
Even if you don’t need to restart your year because of a so-called “failure,” having multiple new years’ is useful because you can STAGGER your resolutions.
Who says that you have to:
- Learn guitar
- Write a novel
- Get in shape
- Learn to swim
- Pick up Arabic
- AND train your dog to dance on command
….ALL starting on January 1?
Why not pick one of those for January 1, then start another project on Lunar New Years’, and another one on Rosh Hashanah, and another on your birthday, and so on and so forth?
It reduces overwhelm and helps increase your chances of success.
Plus, you have more fun stuff to look forward to in the days to come, and anticipation is often the most pleasant part of the whole New-Year’s-Goal experience.
So if you’re a bit disappointed by how well you prepared for the new year, or how well (or NOT well) you’re doing with your freshly minted resolutions, don’t be.
You’re (most likely) not going to get this right the first time, but unlike rocket scientists and neurosurgeons and skydivers, you don’t just have one time to get this right.
Happy New Year(s)!
…and Spread light 🙂
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