QUICK! What’s the fastest way to ruin a new year?
No—it’s not watching “New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly.” But that’s a damn good guess.
You may or may not be surprised to learn that the correct answer is the all-too-common phrase, “New year, new you.”
Yes, the phrase is well intentioned. And no, I don’t blame anyone for looking toward 2018 with an ambitious eye. The issue is not that the phrase is annoying—which, of course, it is. The problem is that it’s an act of pure self-sabotage.
This phrase encourages you to improve yourself in the New Year, but fails to help you address the main source of your struggles in those areas: YOU.
So let’s take inventory of some of your likely New Year’s resolutions, point out the inherent flaws in banking on a “new you” in 2018, and help you get to the real root of your problems on the way to achieving your goals.
Get in Shape
“New you” plan: Sign up for a gym membership.
Why it sucks: Believe it or not, signing up for a gym membership burns precisely 0 calories.
Advice: Get up at 5 a.m. tomorrow and work out. Forget the gym membership for now, just do what you can—you need to start somewhere. As far as materials, you just need the essentials for now: functional gym shoes. Oh, and Fresh Wave Pearl Packs to stuff in them afterward.
Save for your future
“New you” plan: Use a budgeting app on your phone to manage money and track financial goals.
Why it sucks: Your budgeting issues have nothing to do with organization or access to easily digestible financial information, and everything to do with your inability to resist making 30 trips to Starbucks every week. A budgeting app won’t cure that.
Advice: Increase your monthly 401K contribution. This is the only one-time decision that will help you save for the future every month.
“New you” plan: Do some desktop research and send some introductory emails.
Why it sucks: Well, it doesn’t suck that much. It’s potentially a good start. But you’ll invariably get caught up with other tasks and errands and you’ll never follow through.
My advice: Begin your research by having in-person conversations with real people at non-profit organizations of your choice. Having real faces to connect to a cause will increase your likelihood of follow-through tenfold.
That’s my advice on getting a fresh start to the New Year. If you don’t like it, well, I’m sure Carson Daly has some pointers.