Next Year I’ll Stop Making New Year’s Resolutions

As a reformed procrastinator, I’m opposed to most forms of delayed action. Why if on December 1st you feel like you eat too many Pringles each day, you decide to wait until January 1st to begin your pringley abstinence? It’s an insidious habit.

It’s not the self-improvement with which I have a problem—quite the contrary—it’s the letting ourselves off the hook. We gift ourselves a month (sometimes more) of continued naughtiness, which just makes improvement more difficult come the new year. Here’s a general rule I try to follow every day: If it’s important enough to warrant improvement, it’s worth starting the improvement today. 

Making promises to yourself to improve is a glorious habit, but putting improvement off and not following through are bad habits. I also subscribe to the belief that big blanket promises are much harder to keep than small ones. Recovering alcoholics don’t say, “I’m never drinking again” and live happily ever after. They struggle. They take life a day at a time. That’s the best way to improve your life in my opinion.

We should all be like recovering alcoholics (starting January 1st of course).

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