Many years ago, at least over 25 years ago, my mother who was a 60 a day smoker at the time decided to stop smoking on New Year's day. I had never known my Mum to make a resolution before nor I cannot remember her doing it since. Many people will discourage you from making resolutions by saying why wait for New Year's day to make a change that you should make at the time you decide you need the change. I would argue that there is something memorable about the date – the 1st of January - that makes it special.
It is a open joke that most resolutions fail. Usually by the end of January, we are all back to our old habits, answering sheepishly to any enquiries about 'how the resolution is going'. This is true in many cases, I am guilty of it myself, but I have a theory.
When I gave up my 20-30 a day smoking habit some years back, I gave up with two of my friends. Each of us picked a specific date to start and the method by which we would give up. One of us was mad enough to go cold -turkey. Two of us fell off the wagon, so to speak, soon after starting, myself included and one of us, me, fell off twice! However, we all gave up in the end, my last taste of nicotine – via a nicotine patch was funny enough - on the 31st December, 2006, some 4/5 months after I started. So what is my point?
The point is that making a change is difficult and it takes next to superhuman will to stick to self imposed change – after all you are doing it to yourself and you can stop it at any time. You are most likely bound to fall over now and again. The trick is to get back again and keep going – even if you do take a few days break. For most of us having to continually admit that we have fallen is embarrassing and so we stop trying at the first fall and in there lies the reality of 'failed resolutions'.
But here is the kicker that should motivate you to get back on the wagon this year, Sometime during the rest of the following year, you will have to revisit those same resolutions because you know you need to still make those changes. You will still know that you need to lose weight, stop smoking, reduce alcohol intake, get fitter, write the will or whatever it is. If you are stubborn enough not to do anything about it during the year, the same resolutions you make this New Year will the same ones you make next year. Might as well keep keeping on.
So this year, don't give up even if you fail once or twice or even three times - so that next year's resolutions will be new ones and you will know that you have made some progress. As the great Jim Rohn said “Life expects us to make a reasonable amount of progress in a reasonable amount of time.“
Get to it then :)