At the gym where I used to work out, the regulars used to gather this time of year to complain about how crowded the place was with all the “The Resolutioners.” But don’t worry, they’d say smugly, they’ll all be gone by mid-February. And they were right, year after year.
New Year’s Resolutions rarely work. Why not?
We make them because we’ve had some time off, got relaxed, found ourselves reflecting about the things in our life that chronically make us dissatisfied. We tell ourselves this time we’re going to do something about it – get healthier, change jobs, start a company, take up a new hobby, whatever. Maybe we even dare to share our new thoughts and plans with someone else.
And then we wake up with an inspirational hangover. What were we thinking? Inspiration flew the coop overnight, taking all those new thoughts and ideas with it, and we’re left hoping we didn’t do anything too stupid while we were under the influence.
We mean well. We start well. We don’t finish well. Why not?
Because we’re not prepared for the ferocity of the Resistance with a capital R we run into when we try to change things in our lives. Everybody who’s ever tried to make good on a New Year’s Resolution knows about Resistance. It always shows up, never misses its cue, and it’s always pissed off. And it always brings the same message: What were you thinking? Don’t you realize you’re making a fool of yourself? We wither under its barrage, go limping back to status quo.
Resistance is a fact of life in the world of change, and there’s no use trying something new without knowing how to deal with it. The good news is, we can learn, and when we do, we get to be one of those smug regulars the next time January rolls around.
The first thing we need to learn about is life in the Gap.
[to be continued]