It’s the third of January, and it’s a dreary kind of day outside. The kind of day that makes you want to curl up by the fire. It’s also far enough into the new year that you could already see yourself as failing one or more of your resolutions, if you made any, but also early enough in the year that you may not even have started, and so you could be wondering if it was worth even setting any.
Well, I really don’t like the kind of all-or-nothing resolutions which you could fail at this early on! I mean, what’s the point of them? It’s incredibly hard to start, or stick to, a new healthy eating plan when the house is still full of delicious Christmas leftovers! If you haven’t started, why should a week or two into the year make any difference? Why not start when the time is right for you?! If the blustery day puts you off wanting to go for a walk or a run, does it matter? It’s not the only day of the year! There are still 362 days left to do that!
I much prefer to look at the new year as a time to assess where I’m at in my life, and keep moving forward. So rather than set myself ridiculous goals which I can succeed or fail at, I set myself realistic goals, and see them as a continuation of what has gone before, a revisiting of my overall move towards better things. It’s not a ladder I can fall off, more of a spiral staircase in which the overall movement is upwards but which curls around and comes back to the same spot, where I can go down a few steps but then back up. I try to take small steps towards my overall goal, but I don’t try to do it all at once! As Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
Above all, I intend to be kind to myself this year, so setting myself unreachable goals would really not fit that end. If you have already broken a resolution, or have not yet started, or not set any at all, be kind to yourself and just take one tiny step at a time.