Resident Stringer of Words
It’s that time of year again, the moment you change your life for the better: New Year’s resolution time. However, did you know, that out of everyone who sets resolutions for the new year, only about 8% sticks through with them?
I have to say, this statistic is completely unsurprising. It’s a new year, we set goals, we get excited. And then life happens… family, work, responsibilities, and plenty of other cobwebs deter us from realising our ideal self.
“I can’t make time to pursue my goals right now because my job is very demanding/ I have a family to take care of/ I just want to rest and recharge by the time I get home.”
Sounds familiar? Often, we find it a struggle to say no to the urgent matters of everyday life, and therefore an even bigger struggle to commit to decisions that are good for the long term.
Future book you’ve always wanted to publish vs. the report that needs to be completed? Report wins.
That dream European tour you want to save up for vs. a shoe sale happening this weekend? Shoe sale wins.
What about that hobby you’ve been wanting to make time for vs. overtime work duties? (because you didn’t finish work on time, because you love Netflix too much?) Yep, you guessed it. Overtime duties win.
Why does this happen? What are we thinking when this happens? Are we even thinking? In a TED Talk by Daniel Goldstein, he explains:
“It’s an unequal battle between the present self and the future self. I mean, let’s face it, the present self is present. It’s in control. It’s in power right now. It has these strong, heroic arms that can lift doughnuts into your mouth.”
“And the future self is not even around. It’s off in the future. It’s weak. It doesn’t even have a lawyer present. There’s nobody to stick up for the future self. And so the present self can trounce all over its dreams.”
We can easily talk ourselves out of the best-laid plans because of the immediate gratification we get from the present. For example, however much your future self wants to be in shape by going to the gym, our present self would rather the instant joys of ordering pizza and watching Netflix at home instead.
If you’re part of the 92% whose resolutions have slipped out of their grasps… guess what? It’s not too late and you can do much better in 2018. If you want to reinvent yourself and actually be who you want to be, then you need to put in the hard work and truly try to make your aspirations happen. Because if not… then who you are right now - January 2018 - will probably who you’ll still be by the time January 2019 rolls around.
So ask yourself: what can you, the present self, do right now to reward your future self with an improved level of knowledge, performance, health, and overall success? What can you schedule in your planner, or declare to commit to to yourself and your closest friends? Realise that when your present self and future self truly connect and work together on making a better you, you can achieve absolutely anything that you set out to do.
To end, I’d like to quote a favourite that has stuck with me since I first read it:
“One life. Just one. Why aren’t we running like we are on fire towards our wildest dreams?”
Make your resolutions happen! Your future self will thank you. 💜