Ah, New Year’s resolutions…the hopeful goals we make that are too often fated for failure only days after we promised ourselves this would be the year we make a change. About 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year, but only 8% actually achieve them. So why do we keep making them? Because history has been repeating itself for over 4,000 years.
The first people to reportedly ever make New Year’s resolutions were the ancient Babylonians, who made promises to their gods at the start of each new year in exchange for the gods to bestow favor upon them. These promises mostly consisted of paying off debts—an admirable goal many Americans can relate to.
So, if we’re all destined to repeat our shortcomings each year, how do we end the pattern? There’s a simple solution: we start our resolutions early.
The concept of waiting until the New Year to start your goals or waiting until Monday to start your new diet is a concept rooted in restriction. It makes us believe that we have to have a hard start date and “live it up” until then, because once that date comes, we’re not going to be able to have any fun, with anything, ever. In order to succeed at your New Year’s resolutions, you should start them the minute you think about them, instead of putting them off for another couple months from now.
Here are just a few reasons why you should start your New Year’s resolutions now:
Get ahead of the game
When everyone else scrambles to get their goals situated on New Year’s Day, you can be sitting pretty knowing that you’ve already been chipping away at your resolution, whether it be paying off debt, working to get a promotion, losing weight, being more mindful, etc. Having a head start at your goals will show you just how doable they are (and make everyone else slightly envious of your go-getting self).
Failure is a self-fulfilling prophecy
We all know how few people ever actually accomplish their New Year’s resolutions. By holding out on working towards your goal until New Year’s, you’re giving yourself a scapegoat to not achieve them. You and 92% of others who make resolutions can chalk it up to, “oh well, most people don’t keep their resolutions anyway.” This is selling yourself short and quite frankly, you deserve better! Starting your resolutions now will prevent you from thinking it’s just another New Year’s resolution you can opt out of and instead re-wire your brain to think of it as a real, tangible goal.
You’ll surprise yourself
Many people view the end of the year as the wind-down time, when they settle fully into their routines and, we’ll say it…get lazy. By continuing to push for your goals and make new ones in these last few months, you may surprise yourself by how much you can actually get done and accomplished by the time other people are just starting to think of their goals in the New Year. Don’t get us wrong, the holidays are definitely a time to relax, but don’t relax your ambitions. That’s what sets you apart from the rest.
The statistical odds may seem stacked against you for achieving your New Year’s resolutions, which is exactly why you shouldn’t wait until the New Year to start achieving them. Start now. Commit fiercely. And watch yourself get closer to them by the New Year than you ever have before.