I've often wondered why so many people persist in making doomed-to-failure New Year's resolutions year after year. Their likelihood of success -- 8 percent. The most popular resolution -- lose weight.
I've never made a New Year's resolution in my life. The magic of changing my behavior starting with a new calendar year has always eluded me. Maybe my refusal to join in this annual ritual is grounded in my attitude of not running with the herd.
If I wanted to join a gym, why would I chose the most crowded six weeks to make my foray into the sweat brigade? If I wanted to lose 20 pounds, why would I try to do so right after the holiday chocolates had affixed themselves to my backside? If I wanted to get organized (the second most popular resolution for 2014), why would I undertake the task when my house is littered with wrapping debris and pine needles and suffering the effects of being ransacked by toddlers?
No wonder so many people fail. Perhaps many set unattainable goals, like deciding they can miraculously shed 25 pounds in two weeks. But the bigger mistake, the one that inevitably condemns the well-intentioned changes to failure, is the fact that they choose January 1st as D-Day.
Think about it. How do you typically feel on the first day of the new year? Aggravated from several days of having to be nice to relatives who you'd never speak to again but for the familial bond? Exhausted from smiling and making cocktail party small talk, while stuffing yourself with an endless variety of sweets and fried goodies, and holding your stomach in so you don't bust a seam in your holiday finest? Cranky and sleep deprived from too many days of squeezing too much into too few hours? Hung over and bleary eyed from ringing in the new year? Get my point?
Here's my advice. If you want to change your lifestyle, do it when you have a fighting chance -- when you're feeling at least somewhat well-rested and when your stress level is manageable. Perhaps mid-February, after the New Year's resolution people have already failed, would be a good time.