Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Life vs. New Year Resolution

At the start of each year, many people take up a “New Year’s Resolution” with the hope that this year will be a year of positive change. They will exercise more, eat better, spend less time at work and more with family, write that major project, and so on. You know them all! You’ve seen them at the gym for the first two months of the New Year, and then they slowly trail away. While these resolutions are made with sincere dedicate, it does not take long before they are eroded or forgotten.

So why do so many people fall off the wagon so soon, and so easily?

For those living in Nova Scotia, or a climate-similar part of the world, January is bloody bleak. That New Year’s Eve Party may be full of colour and fun, but on the next day, snow still covers everything and it’s still cold. Those who make the resolution to “get in shape” are going to find it difficult to gather the motivation to make it to the gym or outside for a run when the sidewalks are impassable, it’s freezing, and probably snowing out. It’s too cold today is a valid and easy excuse.

Those who plan to start a major project often forget how busy January is. People often check out mentally over the holidays. They rush to get their to-do list done by the Christmas break, making it someone else’s list in early January. When we return to work, there is usually a lot awaiting us that takes most of our time, and our project falls to our back burner once again.

Christmas usually taps most people financially, leaving little to no budget for starting a new way of life. And most people don’t get a whole lot of time to relax during the break (aka hockey parents) and begin a new year feeling drained.

Clearly, January is not a good time to be making a serious resolution for a new way of life? So when is?

A time of year when people feel energized by the new life budding around them. Spring. Let’s have a “New Life Resolution” instead of a “New Year Resolution.” New Year = bleak, busy, cold, poor = lack of motivation. New Life = excitement, colour, warmth inside and out, and a bit more money. Spring is the perfect time to start a new way of life.

There is nothing to keep people from getting outside and making it to the gym, or going for a run. There is a magic energy that comes with the spring when the world shakes off the gloom of winter and new life sprouts all around. People should harness that energy and focus it on the resolutions they want to bring forth.

Let’s avoid the twinge of guilt we feel every December 31 because we promised this would be the year, and nothing came to fruit. Have a New Life Resolution when new life is blooming all around. Combine this importance sense of self with nature, and those resolutions will be much more successful.

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