Pop the champagne, dump your gym plan and get lost on social media today. Because that’s what’s supposed to happen the day after January 17th, also known as Quitter’s Day.
If you’re trying to quit a habit, or start a new one, or push yourself out of your box, You don’t need a new year to roll in to start over!
It takes more than a date change or an orbital cycle to miraculously make you want to alter your lifestyle.
According to a study by the University of Scranton, 77 percent of people who committed to a New Year’s resolution stuck to it for at least a week, but by the end of the second week – just one week later – nearly 80 percent have abandoned them according to Inc.
For most of us, big changes can only come if and when you are mentally prepared to make them happen for yourself, and not a moment before.
My two cents: If you’re still not ready to do that ‘big thing’ you think you should, do something small that will move you forward just a little, until you can work your way up to going all in. If you can stop setting your bar so high, you might even succeed at reaching it, by taking it slow. In other words…
Get real with your expectations of yourself.
If you’re ready to challenge yourself to change, quit making excuses for what you’re not doing, and start with baby steps.
Want to run a marathon this year? How about walking around the block a few times and building your stamina from there? One day at a time.
Want to start eating healthy? Plan 1 meal a week that fits into that category. Going “all in,” “0 to 60,” “cold turkey” works for almost no one.
And quit making excuses for what you’re NOT doing.
I wish someone had served this up to me — straight up — long ago. I’m writing this now, in the hope that you can learn from my mistake.
A story to help you see what I mean:
While the high ropes course is a staple at most Campowerment’s Classic Camps, for years I was not the least bit interested in climbing it. Truth was: I was scared shitless.
I did spend a lot of time on the ground underneath all the action though, cheering on those brave campers who looked their fears right in the face, and jumped. On many occasions, their courage took my breath away, and I took a lot of heat from a lot of people for not going up there myself.
“So you’ve done it?” they’d ask, over and over again. Time and time again, I’d answer: “Don’t you think leaving my TV job to create Campowerment was enough of a leap of faith?” (Defense mechanism alert!)
What I really meant (and could have said!) was I really wanted to do it; I didn’t make the promise because I was just not ready.
Deeper, I do know that “ready” is a mindset, and I could have gotten there — just like we can feel ready (or not) to start that new thing we’ve been avoiding. But when I didn’t — when we don’t — it signals to me now that I did not want it badly enough at that time to just decide I had everything I need to make it happen.
And so that stayed my story…for years. Until one day, I decided it might finally be time. And so, quietly while most campers were doing something else, I leapt!
And oh, what a feeling it was: to not only take a bold action, but to allow myself to celebrate doing it on my timeline.
Throughout my experiences with so many fine folks in the personal and professional growth and development experience, I have learned that when you are ready — and only then — can you push yourself beyond your limits. And not be afraid to fail (or fall, in my case).
Moral of this story:
No need to make declarations you’re not ready to commit to just because it’s a new year, and everyone around you is asking what your resolutions are.
Quit quitting things just because you think you should; do yourself one better: quit committing to things you think you should without dually committing to getting yourself in the readiness mindset.
It’s only when you quit saying, “I can’t,” that you find the willingness and readiness so that you actually finally actually can.