Even people who show good judgment can be tempted to start a new life on New Year’s Day. Why do we put “even” in the phrase? Because only a handful of a great many who start anew on New Year’s Day can reach the finish. It is a commonplace that starting a new life as the clock chimes midnight is likely to end in failure within days. Why does it happen this way?
You can try and sum up the results of the past year to get rid of it for good. And you had better write them down.
There are several reasons why people tend to choose the first day of the New Year for taking a U-turn. Firstly, making a fresh start on the first day of the New Year is something akin to a rite since the New Year marks the death of an old year and the beginning of a new one. Why not take the opportunity and celebrate the imaginary demise of an old personality and the birth of a new one, which is going to form new habits, set new goals and live a new lifestyle?
The other explanation puts the blame on new beginners for their lack of motivation. Those who show real determination in trying to change are unlikely to wait for a particular day to grace the calendar. They are ready to change right here, right now.
We will try to help out those who are not so determined at the moment.
Below are some of the obstacles coming into view of those who try to start it all over again on Monday, January the 1st .
Obstacle No 1: You want it all right away
It would be wrong to talk about starting a new life if you are simply trying to give up smoking or refrain from eating candies and cookies. Your effort has more to do with getting out of a bad habit. Starting a new life involves a brand-new image one is supposed to correspond with. Supposedly, you do not have any bad habits in your new life. Besides, you can only spend your precious time wisely, make more money, make new friends, buy new clothes etc. In line with the scenario, you will end up biting off more that you can chew.
You should not rush at full tilt in an attempt to get everything done at once. For a start, make a list of things to do. Try and estimate how much of your time, money and effort the implementation of the plan it may take and how much of the above you are planning to invest in it. Try and envisage what kind of result you are planning to get and, more importantly, how soon you can get it. Look at your calculations from a realistic angle. Bear in mind that there are only 24 hours between sunrise and sunset. A good night’s sleep should not be on paper only.
Start carrying out your plan gradually, the way you go for a more strenuous exercise while working out in a gym. Keep a diary for breaking down your global objectives into smaller step-to-step tasks. Then you have to record the results of your efforts, listing goals you managed to fulfill and those you failed to achieve. You should always put down possible reasons behind your failures and your impressions about the plans that became a reality.
As we mentioned above, the celebration of a new year can get under way only if an old one is no more. The same applies to things you started doing last year, especially those that directly relate to your new life.
In other words, you should finish off what you have started.
For instance, you made up your mind to break up with your boyfriend in the New Year. But you should put an end to your old business (to be referred to as “the relationship with a current boyfriend” for the purpose of convenience) before slamming the door at midnight and call it quits i.e. you need to justify your actions with reasons and goals you set for the future. You need to be sure that you do the right thing and under no circumstances will you change your mind.
Specialists in strategic planning recommend that a person should ask himself four questions in order to evaluate the importance of any step he is planning to take:
What is going to happen once my goal is fulfilled?
What is not going to happen once my goal is fulfilled?
What is going to happen if my goal is not fulfilled?
What is not going to happen if my goal is not fulfilled?
Your desire to start something anew will either grow stronger or fade away once you answer these questions.
To get rid of the past year for good, try and sum up the results of it. And you had better write them down.
Obstacle No 3: You won’t get it done no matter how you try
Is it easy to go on a diet if your kitchen is crammed with all sorts of savory foods that make you drool? Is it easy to write a good CV for potential employers when all your friends goof around or have a ball? Well, you made your choice to make a fresh start on January the 1st, and therefore you must assume responsibility.
Obstacles hiding deep down inside your system are the hardest to overcome. It is really hard to beat those second thoughts in your subconscious about giving it a try, which is hardly to succeed anyway etc.
Try and play a little mind game. Imagine that you have set a goal to practice sports. Try and recall the way your muscles used to feel after a few hours of vigorous activities. You can also try to dust off the memories dating back to the time when you were a regular sportsman. You see, you were able to do it in the past so you may as well do it again. Therefore, you can do it now.
Translated by Guerman Grachev