Happy New Year, Folks!
The alarm clock buzzes. We hit snooze twice and steal another 16 minutes. As we get into the office, yesterday’s work crisis weighs heavily on our mind, but instead we log in and check Facebook for a while. After that, we dip in and out of meetings, chase our inbox, and start on a project that is due in 48 hours. And at 7:15, right before walking out the door, 25 minutes later than planned, we grab a sugar cookie from the communal jar to accompany us on the drive home.
A version of this routine is likely to be part of our grim reality most days, but there is one very important exception. On Jan. 1 many of us make all kinds of promises that “starting tomorrow, things are going to be different.” There is the old (2013 self) and the new (2014 self), and Jan. 1 is an opportunity to welcome the new, improved self in. As the New Year starts, we say to ourselves that the new, 2014 self will be different. We’re confident that from now on we won’t hit snooze, we’ll stop procrastinating and for sure we won’t mindlessly eat unhealthy snacks.
This kind of self-resolve is the kind of magic that keeps mankind moving. Unfortunately, come mid-January, the shiny “new self” doesn’t feel as new. After a few weeks of crashing against reality and old habit, the new self is bruised and sainted.
Given these challenges, how can we take advantage of our good intentions on Jan. 1 and make them work for us throughout the year, or at least for longer than they would naturally last?
One simple answer is to take advantage of these moments of clarity at the start of the New Year and take actions that would commit us to making good decisions in the future. Here are a few ideas that might help you make Jan. 1, 2014, different from Jan. 1 of years past:
- Working out every day takes a lot of ongoing willpower. Set up recurring weekly “meetings” with friends or co-workers for workouts – FOLK WELLNESS CO. BOOTCAMPS. This kind of social obligation is likely to hold you, and them, accountable to show up, and once you have shown up, you might as well start sweating.
- Have fruit and vegetables delivered to you. By committing to a service that delivers fresh good stuff, we make having healthy food a reality. This approach has the added sweet side effect of urgency. Every week when the healthy stuff is delivered, we know all too well that if we fail to consume the fruit in the next week, more of it will show up and we will have to waste the unused fruit. If your town doesn’t have this option – get creative! What will make you make sure your home always has fresh fruit & veggies!
Doing these things when the desire to start fresh is still strong in our mind, there is a much better chance that our good intentions will keep serving us for the better part of 2014.