Why Wait? Start Now: Get A Head Start On Your New Year

By Tyrice Johnson


It’s Dec 31st…..

The Champagne is ready to pop.

Glasses and cups are ready to be poured.

The Pendulum of sound is slowly shifting from the “Best of the Year” tunes,

To your local TV news (It’s actually the only time you’ll watch basic TV till the next award show),

And everyone starts to ask or tell you…

What’s your New Year’s Resolution?

Does this sound like your New Year’s Eve? Oops I forgot one part. Its March now, you’re waiting to see if the groundhog looks back to see its shadow; meanwhile, your resolutions aren’t even in your vision for the rest of the year. I don’t know about you, but that was definitely me this past year.. In January, things would be rocky, but everyone else was dealing with the struggle to change, too so it was okay. By March, the saying “it’s easy to obtain but, it’s harder to maintain” kicks in and discipline to change waned. But, it was okay because everyone else was quitting on their resolution, too...PHEW (Is summer here yet?).

After years of unfulfilled resolutions and a lack of wit to create a cool excuse as to why I didn’t accomplish my goals for the year, I decided (drum roll) It was time for a change and looked for solutions for completing resolutions.

Get a Head Start on your New Year in December

Have you thought “Why do we wait for everyone else to start their goals before we go after our goals for next year?” a wise woman posed this question to a group of us. Simultaneously we all thought “who told me that? Have I reached my goals? Time to change it.” There is no rule that says you have to wait to start making progress on your goals for the New Year.

For 11 months we grind, then around Thanksgiving we catch the “itis” for about a month. Instead, we can use December as the perfect test run, to build habits that will help us progress to our goals. There’s about 2 more weeks left in the year try this: 1) Make a goal for the day, 2) Make the effort to accomplish that goal,  3) Reflect and investigate on achieving that goal (Where did you excel? What was challenging? How did it make you feel?).  By the time you hit New Year's Eve, when people ask “What’s your New Year’s Resolution?” No matter what it is, saying you started two weeks ago makes you the coolest person in the room, hands down *drops the mic*.

Start Your Year on the Day Your Life Started

Why not start your new year on the most important day of the year?  This idea came from my best friend. It’s simple, set your new year to be your birthday. Create your goals, reflect on your past year, and boom you can get started on a day that’s meaningful to you (Unless your Birthday is between Dec 31-Jan 1, then…well…you’re used to it already). This is something that I have been practicing since I have turned 21, and I have to say it’s allowed me to appreciate growth as I have aged.

Goals around personal development and developing my hobbies have helped me tremendously in measuring maturation on my own terms. The great thing about goals is that they only have to be meaningful to you and can have any structure. Go to the gym three times a week? Cool. Want to have separate personal and professional goals? Bet.  Giving up eating meat? Fantastic. Hit the lotto before 25? Good luck (here’s my PayPal for when you win: helpmebreakfreeofSallieMae@gmail.com ). I only can speak for myself here, but goals that you have control over and can plan have a greater chance of success than ones you don’t -- we call the latter wishes.

Growing up, many of us associate growth and maturation with going on to the next grade. Being a freshman in college was way cooler than being a senior in High School -- period. Once you are finished with school however, many of us get lost in the sauce and time just passes by in a blur. Resolutions are a great way to develop checkpoints in your life to reflect on progress and maturity. The key is to establish and affirm them based on your terms and not when everyone else feels like it. Perspective makes a world of difference. In two weeks, it will be January 1, 2017. For some it is the beginning of a new year, others it’s 27 days till the Chinese New Year and the year of the Rooster (’93 babies this is your year!), as for me… well… I’ll be a quarter way through my year -- time flies.

Photo Credit: Lee Chapman