It’s New Year’s Eve! Quickly come up with a New Year’s resolution! One that will make you a better and happier person and/or will make the world a better and happier place. One that you will never stick to.
Because, let’s be honest – when do we actually stick to NY resolutions? On average, it can take about two months to form a habit, so by the time the end of February arrives, life has gotten in the way and we barely remember what it was we wanted to achieve or change. So let’s do ourselves a massive favour and scrap any NY resolution. Instead, let’s admit to ourselves that by now we wasted enough time. Time living daily lives without a spark or passion, time feeling sorry for ourselves, time waiting for something or someone to motivate us, time searching for excuses. NY resolution will not cut it because it stands no chance against our daily life, lack of motivation, self-pity, excuses… Our search for excuses happens quite often subconsciously – our personal circumstances are an excuse, weather is an excuse, health is an excuse. Do you remember captain Tom Moore who walked 100 lenghts of his garden to raise money for a charity? He received an award as the BBC Sports Personality of the Year for this act. Being nearly 100 years old and relying on a mobility walker, gosh, did he have a list of excuses at his disposal!
So how about this time, instead of waiting to get motivated and setting a pointless NY resolution, we start to transform our lives and change who we are? Little by little, without any massively dramatic efforts, but consistently and with conviction, because little efforts repeated day in day out will have much bigger result than a grand NY resultion.
We can use our will to transform ourselves into almost anything we wish. But yes, you guessed it, it is our will that is our shortfall. Year after year, we are getting softer, less and less capable, and more easily offended and discouraged. We are told to be kind to ourselves, while in fact what we need is to toughen up. We can’t train our willpower by being comfortable all the time!
So here is my proposal – instead of a grandiose New Year’s resolution, try stepping out of your comfort, little by little, day by day. Minor personal sufferings repeated on a daily basis can be truly transformational. So try getting muddy, getting cold, getting hungry, leaving home without a phone, being kind to people you don’t like and eating things you don’t enjoy, carrying on walking when your legs ache. Obviously, in my case, it will be running while my body is over it (but my mind will be ready to rock’n’roll because of the discomforts I put myself through every day). So go find your courage to suffer a little, because it will take you further than joining your local gym (and quitting mid-February).
Speaking of suffering – I am just pouring myself a glass of not-yet-chilled champagne. Happy New Year everyone!