Did you make a list of new year’s resolutions, because you always do? Then you might be way too early, because there’s a much better time to start.
Lose a couple of pounds, enjoy life more, spend more time with the family, quit smoking: every year, lots of people start with new year’s resolutions. It’s an ancient tradition: 4000 years ago, the Babylonians already made promises to their gods at the beginning of a new year.
January seems like a perfect, logical time to start changing your life for the better. While the last days of the year go by, you look back on the past year and decide about the things you want to change. With high expectations you look forward to the new year. But the busy holidays, the Christmas get-togethers, dinners and other social obligations make it difficult to actually prepare for it.
What would be a better time to start with new year’s resolutions? August or September!
Just after the Summer holidays, a new season starts. School and studying begins again, you go back to work, back to the gym, with a relaxed summer time behind you. The summer holidays give you more than enough time to reflect on your life. Time to zoom out, and to realize in a sunny place what it is you’re really longing for. It bubbles up, you don’t have to actively think about it.
In August and September, people feel more relaxed and have more energy – important if you want to make a change. After the holidays, we’ve detached from the normal, the every day life. It makes it easier to really change what we want to change.
The notion of ‘new year’s resolutions’ is often linked to restrictions. You have to improve your fitness, so from now on, you have to go for a run every day. You can’t eat delicious cake anymore; from now on, you say no to every treat.
With this approach, most people are likely to throw in the towel after a week or three. Unrealistic goals are impossible to reach, and besides, they often don’t spring from your deepest desires. If you really want to work on your condition, you know it’s better to start with a daily walk than a daily bootcamp. Especially if you’re just not the type for that kind of thing.
So don’t put the bar too high. If you ask too much of yourself all at once, it will reduce your will power. It’s better to divide your resolutions into small steps. That way, you can be proud of yourself with every step you take.
Did you already make a list of resolutions for 2019? You may want to check your list again, just to find out how they make you feel. Do they make you feel genuinely enthusiastic, or do they make you feel tired and stressed? There’s still time for a change of plans – if you want, you can wait until August.
Text: Eline Hoffman – Photo: Amy Shemblen
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