Why do people make New Year’s resolutions? More often than not they try to fix something they are doing wrong or not doing at all. Or some times they want to do something they wish they could do more of, or less of. And often people don’t stick to their resolution or if they do, it may last only a few weeks, or even days. But the powerful idea of changing something, of making changes that will bring positive results in your life is worth wile contemplating. The New Year’s resolution concept, apart from being a great tradition like kissing under the mistletoe, is only an excuse for us to think about what we want to change in our life. But who is to say that every day is not New Year’s Day? Why can’t we make “New Year’s Resolutions” every day? We could call them “Today’s Resolution”!
The pressure of changing your habits all at once, together with one million other people who want to do the same, not only increases the cost of memberships in Gyms and Clubs, skyrockets the sales of books and DVD on fitness and Self Help, but makes it harder and less achievable as we try to change something we have for years neglected or cultivated in our lives.
I am not saying that people should not set themselves a New Year’s resolution, it is fun and a tradition, but what I suggest is to think about the power of making a “Today’s Resolution” every time you know it is time to change something in your life.
I used to smoke and I began the habit when I was a young kid (I grew up in Mexico City and I guess in those days, smoking as a kid in the streets was not seen as bad as it is). I loved smoking; and even when they banded smoking in the UK a few years ago, I saw this as a positive thing, not to give up but to actually spend time by myself. For me, it was a great way to have time to reflect as I took a walk at lunchtime to have my cigarette. In the evenings, I smoked outside to avoid passing on my habit to my family, and of course I loved the “social” smoke whenever I was out with smoker friends or family. I loved it so much I often said, “I would only give up when I am told I have to”. But of course, like many, I knew it was bad for me and I tried to give up many times during a New Year’s Eve Party. Have you ever thought about this? I mean, what a place to try and give up smoking! It is like saying don’t eat burgers whilst working in the best burger joint in town! And yes, you guessed it right it never worked. But strangely enough I gave up smoking 6 years ago and it was not at New Year’s party, but when I ended up in hospital with a suspected heart attack.
Yes, this is one of those “life changing” tales people have told you before, when you get the “wake up” call, when you realise it is time to change old habits, when you know that if you don’t change there are serious consequences. Except that this story for me is different, as this was the biggest lesson in my life. I only realised this after the event, after I understood how easy it is to change something in your life. I went cold turkey; gave up from one day to the next. As if by magic, the cigarettes were gone. And this gave me the inspiration to believe that I can change or do anything I want, whenever I want. Some people call it strong will, and they may be right. I like to call it “believe” that you can change. So I now believe I don’t have to wait for the clock to strike twelve, to wait once a year for something I would like to change.
Since this revelation, I have become an absolute advocate of the power of positive thinking; of believing you can do anything you want. I have since then changed aspects of my life that I never thought I would. I eat healthier - even my wife laughs at me when I buy wholegrain crackers and eat fruit. I get up at 6 in the morning to go to the gym, just to keep a healthy routine of running and exercising, and I began to write again! Yes, I am so passionate about it that I spent as much time as I can, writing my thoughts on paper. And I believe soon enough I can and will take my writing career to new heights.
But most importantly, I now don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I celebrate what I have achieved in that year and I start planning what I will achieve in the year to come.
I encourage everyone to change your mindset, to believe that changes happen every day and that the only person who can make those changes is you. New Year or not, when you make that commitment, you have got to believe you can make that change, think positively and you will make things happen. If you say you can, you will, if you say you will you might but if you say you can and will then you have made that change, it will happen because it started, it happened already, the change has been made.
Start today with your “Toady’s Resolution” think about it… what do you want to change today?