One of the craziest things that people manage to do is cram in everything they don’t like about themselves and create a laundry list of things they want to improve over the year. During the first month of every year, Gym memberships skyrocket, people hand over partial packs of cigarettes, and some throw away all of their “comfort foods”.
While it is an admirable thing every year to see what people think they have to do to improve themselves, I have found that the majority of New Years Resolutions fail within the first two months. Once the initial pressure of sticking to your plan ebbs, people tend to procrastinate and their nemesis, the Idle, steps in.
“I’m going to work out today, I just need to check my email” then results in a seven hour webbrowsing session where you catch up with your favorite websites, go through random friend’s photo albums on facebook, or watch video upon video of kittens being so cute you want to vomit. By the time you realize what time it is, you figure that taking the effort to make a healthy dinner is too much work and you settle in with the bag of peanut butter cups you had forgotten you had stored in the freezer when you went through that enormous purge.
What happens afterwards is a downward spiral of shame. You think “ugh, how terrible am i?” and you decide that the rest of the week will just be a mulligan and you can start again on a Sunday because that just makes sense to you. You spend the week like you are the guest of honor at a Bacchanal. You know that this week doesn’t count in the long run, so you indulge your taste buds longing for decadent and savory flavors.
The week ends, and you decide that Sunday should just be included as a weekend day so it’d be best to start again on a Monday. Monday is one of the most stressful days at work. You get home and need to decompress before you head out to the gym, so you decide to check your email. Thus begins another week down the tube.
So how do you rise above something like that?
Stop thinking about things in blocks of time? Let each day count as a block of time, don’t let it extend. As people, we are pretty quick to procrastinate, so if you let your brain tell you to put something off, you are letting it win and let’s face it. Your brain is an asshole.
Well… My brain is an asshole. I can give you a very simple example.
I enjoy chewy candies, but my jaw hurts afterwards. If I have chewy candies around me, my asshole brain will encourage me to eat the candy
I have found that this is the case with a lot of things that I do. In the long run, my brain is trying to sabotage me. So I know that I need to retrain my thought process.
Is this my New Years Resolution? No. I’m not going to set a date for it. I am going to attempt to make a slight change in the way that I think about things daily. When that becomes a normal thought pattern, I’m going to tweak something else.
I know how I would feel about immediately denying myself something that I want. Think Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory.