“To many, the first month of the new year is like a Monday morning; overwhelming, it arrived too soon, and we aren’t quite ready for what the day has in store. In fact, we could have done with just one more Sunday before it kicked off. But alas, it’s here, and ours for the taking. Statistics show that the majority of people will have broken their new year’s resolutions by January 15th (if they made any). That’s not to say we even should make any. The very idea of resolutions evokes for most of us, not excitement, but the promise of new dry and unwelcome habits to stick to.
We come up with these habits in an effort to begin with a ‘clean slate’ in 2015, only to find the pang of depression seep in when the problems we created last year come knocking on the door of the present one. “What? I still have to deal with you? It’s a new calendar year for God’s sake.” Our previous issues don’t simply evaporate when the calendar clicks over to the 1st of January. Real progress isn’t a clean slate, it’s messy. It’s the untangling of wires that have become twisted and entwined over time. But that’s ok, because no matter how tangled they seem, we begin to make progress the moment we just find the end of the wire, and start undoing the chaos.
This year doesn’t have to start with a bang. It can start with the most modest of actions, which deviate from your normal patterns of behaviour and remind us of our ability to surprise ourselves, even if modestly. Perhaps following through on a quick and easy task you’ve been putting off for too long, that gives you the confidence to move onto the next.
The point is, it doesn’t have to be about doing something extraordinary in January. You don’t have to make up for all of the flaws of 2014 this month – and believe me, if you try, you’ll end up affecting none of them. Instead, it can be a subtle shift in your mindset and behaviours which takes you two millimetres in a different direction. Do that, and by February your destination in 2015 will already begin to look quite different.
This is how real and sustainable change is made.
Don’t be a superhero in January, be the understated champion of tiny changes.” – by Matthew Hussey