What Happened to Those New Year’s Resolution?

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Every year, as the New Year approaches, we are bombarded with messages pressuring us to pick a resolution for the next twelve months. For some reason or another, we have been conditioned to think of January 1st as this clean slate upon which to write our biggest intentions. 

Whether it’s losing weight, quitting smoking, or getting out of debt, we somehow think that when the clock strikes midnight, we’ll magically know how to get these areas of our life under control. As a life coach, I’m often approached by people trying to define their own New Year’s resolutions. Here’s my advice: I think your resolution should be to not have a resolution. 

Here’s why: 

Every day should be a resolution. Every day you wake up, you should have a desire to make something of your life. January 1 is just a day — it doesn’t mean that it’s some magical date when you start working toward your dream. I’m skeptical of New Year’s resolutions because of what normally happens to people who declare them: They don’t finish what they start. What happens then? Do you wait until next January? 

People make the same resolutions over and over because they are not seeing every day as an opportunity to make something happen. Awaken your awareness and ask yourself, what areas of my life feel incomplete? Try to think back to a time when you may have been discouraged because you let negative thoughts manifest themselves into your daily life. These thoughts tell us we are not good enough, that we cannot accomplish our goals — and we believe them. What are some ways you can transform those thoughts into positive affirmations the next time they enter your mind? 

This awareness can happen on January 1st, or January 2nd, or March 30th, or August 15th. My point is, live in the now. I don’t believe in “next January,” or “last January,” for that matter. Last January is over. New Year’s Day is over. Be present, and realize it’s never too late. YOU decide when your New Year’s Day should be! 

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Dr. Alex Ledgister is not your typical “Success Coach.” The former Marine who holds a Ph.D.

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