Beware the New Year Trap. The trap that comes along with every new year, new month, new week, or even new day. The trap of waiting for tomorrow for something you can start today.
I was looking on Facebook during the month of December and I have seen many status updates from my friends claiming something along the line of, “I can’t wait till 2013!” The idea being that 2012 was such a bad year that changing calendars would solve all of their problems. As if the calendar fairy is going to come down and take all of their trouble’s away.
“Hey look, it is a new day. I will sprinkle this magical fairy dust on you.”
I know I have fallen in this trap. The New Year Trap, the new month trap, the new week trap or even the new day trap. Finding an arbitrary time to start an action that is beneficial to me, giving me more time to continue to do the actions that are lazy. “I will start next week.” “I will start Monday.” Neither one of those statements have helped me. They have helped me eat an entire pizza with the knowledge of the fact that I was going to start eating good on Monday.
This way of using new beginnings leads to the New Year Trap. A cycle I am sure you are familiar. You notice that the new year is coming up. You tell yourself you will finally start doing that thing you wanted to do. Like diet, budget, call your mom, exercise, give up smoking, drinking, or meth. Then you spend the days before the new cycle doing the opposite of what is good for you. The reason being, that you will start on the New Year, so better eat/drink/smoke/snort heroin, while you can. Then New Year starts. You do it for a while. Then after the excitement goes down, you start not doing it. Only to start up again next year after beating yourself up for 11
months or so.
That is the reason why the busiest month in the gym is January and the emptiest is February.
Not that you cannot use new beginnings for your own growth. New beginnings should be used to enhance your life, while taking you to the next level. Not an excuse to wait to do what you need to do now.
The way you use new beginnings effectively is using the time to reflect on what you have done since the last beginning. This could be, week, month, day or huge Mayan Calendar cycle. What did you do well? How can you improve?
Using new beginnings as stepping stones instead of excuses. Use them to empower yourself to take things to a next level. If you want to start a good habit, START IT NOW! Don’t wait. Tomorrow isn’t going to make it easier.