Welcome to 2013!

calendarThe new year is a time when many people make New Year’s resolutions. Common ones include losing weight, saving money, going back to school, finding a better job, improving a relationship – or getting out of one, being kinder, giving more, drinking less, and so on.

All too often, these well-intentioned resolutions are short-lived. I think the problem is timing.

Let’s assume that in September I step on the scale and decide I’ll make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. Since I don’t need to worry about it now, I can eat as much as I want. In four months, I’ll get serious about weight loss, but for now, there are no worries.

This gives me sixteen weeks to further instill bad eating habits. Additionally, knowing that in the future I’ll lose weight, I become emboldened to eat poorly now – while I still have the chance. This only serves to exacerbate the problem and means more weight to lose later.

A much better approach would be to start exercising more and eating less as soon as I sensed the need, in this case, September, not January one.

This is why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Rather, as soon as I determine a need for change, I set about to make it happen. That’s when I have the best chance for success, not later after things get worse. Effectively, I tweak my life year round and skip making annual vows for self-improvement.

If you’ve made New Year’s resolutions, I wish you the best in keeping them. However, if you fall short, don’t give up and wait until next year to make another attempt. Just forgive yourself and start over – and have a Happy New Year!

[This is from the January 2013 issue of Peter DeHaan‘s newsletter. Sign up to receive the complete newsletter each month via email.]

What do you think? Please leave a comment!