At this time of year, many people decide to make New Year’s Resolutions. Sadly, for most people, their resolve does not last as long as it took to make the resolution.
Yet, what do we mean by a resolution? It can mean any of several things. But in this context, we analyse a bad habit and determine to change, in the future.
I did see a humorous take on this, recently. I don’t have the reference, at the moment. If I find it I will share it. It went along the lines of: “My wife told me that this year I should make a resolution that I can achieve. So I resolve to be the fattest, laziest couch potato that I can be.” Sadly, this is the reality for too many people.
Why Resolve Now?
People see a new year as a new beginning. Yet, is it, really? Who decided that January 1st is the first day of the new year? The Chinese new year for 2014 starts on January 31st. The Indian sub-continent celebrates the new year at various dates, depending on where you live and which religion you follow, but is generally March 31st for many. For Muslims, the new year starts on October, 15th, 2014, with the last new year having started on November 4th, 2013.
If you are in business, you may have a number of new year dates. For personal tax purposes, the new year starts on 6th April, every year. For certain aspects of limited company tax matters, it is April 1st. For your business, it could be any time. I have known clients who start their financial year on 1st April, 6th April, 1st January, the first of any month that suits them, and one client whose financial year started on 2nd October. Why? Because that was the date he started his business, all those years ago, and he was sentimental about it.
A Symbolic New Start
The point is that what we are looking at is merely a symbolic day. Let’s be honest, changing habits takes longer than the time it takes to sleep from one day to the next. So what we are really saying is that this is going to be the first day of our new lives.
However, why wait until January 1st? We can start a new life at any time. I’m sure you have heard the old adage that “this is the first day of the rest of your life.” That is true, every day. Every morning that we awaken, life starts over. We may have to deal with the legacy of yesterday’s events. But we don’t have to repeat them.
So make this your resolution: That each day, from now on, as soon as you identify something in your life that you want to change, you will not wait until January 1st to change it. You will start immediately.
After all, if your roof started leaking on January 2nd, would you wait another 364 days before fixing it? If your business was struggling for sales, mid-year, would you another six months before acting? It’s the same with personal habits. Why wait until next year before changing?
Do it now, whenever now happens to be.