Welcome to January, the most American month of the year! Sure, we love July with the hot dogs, beer, music and fireworks. We also love November and the turkey, pecan pie, beer and football. December, you might say is the most American month of all, it has food, beer, fireworks, music, football and maxed out credit cards! But no, it’s not July, November or December. January is hands down the most “American” month of the year.
As a group, Americans are generally optimistic about their future. We believe that tomorrow can be better than yesterday. We believe in self-determination, in our personal ability, through hard work, grit and determination, to better ourselves financially, physically and emotionally. No month says “Yes We Can” and “Make America Great Again” quite like January!
January is when we optimistically make goals and resolutions to get healthy, pay off our credit cards, and become a better parent, spouse, friend, employee, etc, etc. We find our one credit card that still has room on it, and scour the internet for any shortcut to our goals we can purchase. In our January optimism, we are confident that we just need the right tools or plan, and our success will be assured. Our January-colored glasses expunge the memories of past New Year’s resolution futility.
So why do we let ourselves get suckered every year? Why do we dedicate the first month of the year to setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment the rest of the year? Why add to your self-loathing, anxiety and depression? Why not just resolve to be fat, broke and happy?
Think about it, no more guilt for grabbing a slice of pizza instead of a salad. No more guilt for grabbing a soda instead of a water. No more guilt for sleeping late and skipping a workout, and no more guilt for binge watching Netflix instead of finishing the project. You can ‘have your cake and eat it too’, what can be more American than this?
Let’s face it, for most of us, life is already tough enough. You’ve got obligations and responsibilities. Car, insurance and houses bills that need to be paid as well as the chore of hauling the kids to soccer, dance, and music lessons. How are you supposed to have the time or energy to exercise and eat right?
It’s not like you’re going to get up earlier or stay up later. You can’t miss your favorite show or skip movie night. What are you supposed to do, go for a run while the kids are at soccer practice? Besides, what would the other parents think if you were running laps around the field, instead of supporting your child by sitting quietly and scrolling Facebook?
It’s not that what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working. It’s working just fine. You must be happy with where you are, that’s why you’ve never changed.
Don’t be miserable in 2017. Either commit to changing nothing or commit to the change you desire. If you do commit to a change, don’t be half assed, make it an obsession. If you choose to commit to changing nothing, I’ve got one rule for you, no bitching.
Welcome to 2017. Embrace struggle, seek discomfort, flirt with failure and sleep well knowing you’ve spent your time in a worthy manner. Success is not the attainment of a goal, it’s the willingness to persevere when the goal seems unattainable.