Welcome 2016!

Here it comes...2016!

I can't even imagine how the change of the year got here so quickly. It's been an amazing, odd, interesting, slightly terrible, and very wonderful year, and I'm incredibly grateful that I've gotten to experience it. If you're reading this, I'm glad you've gotten to experience it with me. :)

Every year, someone asks me about making New Year's resolutions, and my response is always that I don't unless it just sort of turns out that way. If I feel a need to make a change in my life to be a better person or to be healthier or happier, I don't until the new year, which is what I think many people do. For some, it will work. The idea that we're sweeping out the old and ringing in the new helps some people stick with their goals. For others, not so much. Me? I just have to do it or it won't get done.

I'm reminded of this every year when I go to the gym where I work out regularly. Right after Christmas, I see the staff showing a bunch of new or potential members around. Some of them have gotten memberships as Christmas presents; the others probably have made the resolution to get fit in the coming year. Either is great if it gets that person to the gym. Unfortunately, I've seen this scenario played out over the years, and usually most of the folks who start simply don't finish. Every December, I see the new members signing up. In January and maybe February, the gym is bustling with well-intentioned people of all ages trying to make a positive impact on their health. By the end of March, only a couple of the people who started in January are still hanging in there. These are people who have made a lifestyle change and committed to it, which is key to making any change in life. I think if we called them New Year's lifestyle changes instead of resolutions, more people would be successful in reaching their goals.

What's helped me is that if I want to change something, I try to make it a habit as soon as possible. For example, in September I realized that job stress was getting me down and affecting my relationships with other people. I decided one day to change my attitude toward what was going on in my work life that day, and made plans to talk less about my frustrations at work and more about other things going on in my life. That required me to stop focusing on my job as much and focus on things I've missed, like reading and writing. Making that one adjustment required a great deal of effort and other modifications, but it's been worth it. Life is better now, even though the workplace situation hasn't really improved and probably never will.

What I'm trying to say is that there is no time like the present, whether it is New Year's day or a random day in March, to make the changes you want to make, and sometimes those changes require more than one variation in routine to make them happen. If you want to get healthy at the gym, you have to make it a part of your routine, not just something you do when you get time, or that gym membership will get very dusty and then disappear altogether. At least, that's how it works for me.

I hope that you achieve whatever goals you want to achieve, whether you're deciding on them now or in July. I admire anyone who tries, whether they fail or succeed, in making their lives or the lives of those around them better, in big or small ways. I wish you the very best for a peaceful, loving, happy, and tremendous 2016 filled with, of course, lots of books. Happy Reading!

1 comment:

Carly Carson said...

I agree with your post. The fact is that people have only a limited amount of willpower. A change has to become a habit, rather than something you have to summon willpower every day to do. Maybe the start of a new year can be a good time to form and remember the new habit. It's worth a try.