Enough With Permissions Already

Today is no different from yesterday. You probably woke up this morning with big plans to “really make some changes this year,” but you know what? It won’t work. Why? Because you have already decided that waiting for the new year to become new and better is the right course of action.

There are serious problems built into the New Year’s ordinances. Don’t get me wrong, I am in favor of people improving themselves, but you are just asking for failure in these things. First, you are probably setting yourself unrealistic and unnecessary goals. Shoot for the stars, they say. Not! Aim for realistic, down-to-earth goals that you can achieve in a fairly short amount of time, and then build on them. Baby steps, people! You want to create systems for yourself to help you overcome the distance. Also, make sure these goals actually make you happier. After all, why is learning how to rock climb if you’re not going to make it one of your things? And remember that a year is a long time to focus on a project. You will definitely get tired of it and quit, or do something else and quit, or just walk away because, well, you forgot about it. I bet some of you can’t even remember your decision last year.

You also limit yourself to the time to reach your goal, even if you don’t intend to. Come next New Years Eve, you will probably say, “Oh shit, I didn’t make it.” You lost 20 pounds, but gained 21 kg over the holidays. You wanted to travel more, but left the city only once and on business. You wanted to read more books, but you still have a stack of unread books that you bought in the first week of last year. Do not be disappointed in this. You’re going to suck, so give yourself some room for that and improve over time. Yes, deadlines can be good sometimes, but if your goals are even a little abstract – like learning to play the guitar or learning a new language – you won’t give yourself an edge in doubt. You’re about to sit down on New Years Eve, play some crappy chords, or try to write a sentence in Mandarin and get upset about not doing what you promised.

Worst of all, you are postponing positive changes in your life for the sake of a “solution.” You say to yourself, “I want to do this … but I will start on the new year.” Stop wasting your time! It is literally the most valuable commodity you will ever own. If you want to change, make a kind of brand slogan and just do it. No more excuses. Years, months – the time is all invented, stupid animal. Stop the “next year will be better” nonsense and just do better now . There is only now. If it doesn’t make sense, think of it this way: your life is just one very long year . There are no reboots, clean slates, or turning points. There is only one long period of time when you are here and then you are not. Are you still waiting to reach your goals? Oh, and Happy New Year.

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