2020 has been arguably the worst year of the decade, considering of course that we’re literally living in the apocalypse. Restaurants are closed, concerts are cancelled, layoffs are happening in small businesses left and right. Hospitals are full. People are sick and dying. The vaccine seems to be too little too late.
(Of course, staying indoors and avoiding social contact is no problemo to a procrastin8r. Life as a lazy man is quarantine.)
That said, there are people bragging all over social media right about now about how much they accomplished in the past year, despite the set of circumstances at hand. You’ve got people that have gotten married, payed off debt, lost weight, learned a new instrument, and all sorts of big ass achievements. Woo hoo! Good for them. Whatever.
Ya know what? I think it’s an achievement enough to say you survived the 2020 coronapocalypse, without going above and beyond to perform something absolutely HUGE. I mean, really, that’s great n’ all for the people that have actually managed to do something life changing during this pandemic, but with the economic disaster, emotional turmoil, and literal DEATH this virus has caused, to say “I made it”is good enough. Not just good. Good enough, damnit.
And that’s all you have to be.
Be proud of yourself for being good enough. Seriously.
It’s right around now, at the end of the year, right before the fireworks light the sky and the ball drops (which might not even happen since, ya know, social distancing and all), that people begin to make their big ole New Year’s Resolution, setting out to accomplish something superbly magnificent in the oncoming year.
They set out to lose a certain amount of weight or start a surefire business or even find the love of their life. Whatever it is people make for their New Year’s Resolution, it’s quite an ambitious endeavor, one in which is rarely, if ever, met.
They aim to accomplish some grand feat that often leads to nothing but pure disappointment as they not only fall short of their goal, they don’t even come close.
Susan made a NYR (that’s short for New Year’s Resolution by the way and I’m going to use that abbreviation form here on out because I’m too lazy to type it all out every time I want to say it); she made one to lose 20 pounds, but ended up giving into cake and fast food and gaining thirty. Bob wanted to learn to play guitar but instead winded up smoking pot all day. Frank, he set a NYR to start his own business, but winded up schlepping as a janitor at McDonald’s. Lucy made a big promise to herself that she’d find “the one” but a year later and she’s still lonely and single.
These are just random names and scenarios I’m using as examples. You probably know someone that made a similar NYR and ended up failing it. Maybe you’ve done that yourself.
Every single year people make a pact to themselves that “This is it. This is the year I’m gonna accomplish that big thing I told myself I’d do.” The year goes by and guess what? Nothing. Nada. They didn’t do shit. And then they get in a cycle of repeating how “this is the year” ...every single year.
Look, there’s no point in setting out to accomplish a goal that you simply don’t have the capabilities to do yet alone the motivation to actually pull on through and do it.
Now I know, people like to tell you “You can do anything you put your mind to.” But it ain’t that simple, folks.
You can’t do something you’re not ready for.
Like say your NYR would be to be more fit and lose weight. That ain’t gonna happen if you’re gorging on fastfood from Grubhub while lying on the couch all day. You just don’t have the tools necessary to be fit n’ healthy.
Nothing wrong with that. I’m a lazy fuck too so I ain’t about to knock ya for it. But realistically, you ain’t gonna be a fit person, especially in a year.
What are you getting at, Nate? Are you saying I should just be a miserable fat fuck and keep stuffing my ugly face with cake and french fries?
Well no, not quite. I mean look, at its core what is a resolution?
It’s change. By making a resolution, you are saying “I am going to change.”
But here’s the thing, bud. Ya can’t change a goddamn thing about yourself until you ACCEPT who you are and where you’re at. That’s the first step.
You gotta accept you’re fat, accept you’re poor, accept you’re an idiot, accept you’re lazy before you even think about changing any of that shit. The fact of the matter is, you can’t change shit until you accept your own shit.
Making a big ass promise to “just change” in 365 days ain’t gonna suddenly, magically, transform you into the person you want to be, nor is it going to bring that goal into fruition.
Well of course! People will tell you. You’ve gotta work hard and stick to it, they’ll say. But that, again, is all bullshit. No goal, yet alone a NYR, requires any hard work. What it does require though is focus and persistence.
It basically takes a bit of [re-programming in your brain] That’s the change we’re talking about. Real change.
Let’s say that your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight by next year. What you need to do, instead of tell yourself that you’re trying to exercise and eat healthy, is that, you need to tell yourself: I am fit and healthy.
Now I know you might be thinking: I’m not! I’m not! I’m fat as shit! The whole reason I’d make NYR is so that I can change that!
Well look, you’re not changing in the right way. Okay that sounds weird, certainly being fit and healthy is the “right” way. What I mean is, you’re attempting to change the outer without changing the inner. While on the outside, you may get skinner, on the inside, you still think you’re just a fat fuck.
No matter how much weight you lose, you’re still gonna see yourself as “the fat kid who lost weight” instead of “the fit dude who used to be fat.” You see the difference?
It’s all perspective.
The reason a NYR rarely gets accomplished is because people STILL identify as the very thing that they are trying to change (the poor person who is trying to make money as opposed to the successful entrepreneur who used to be dirt broke, as another example). People see themselves as undeserving of what they wish to accomplish because they labeled themselves to be a certain (negative) way.
“I am fat, therefore I can’t be fit.”
“I am poor, therefore I can’t be rich.”
“I am lonely, therefore I can’t find someone.”
These are the types of negative thoughts, negative beliefs, negative labels people give themselves. They trap themselves in a role based on their own interpretation of reality and manage to sabotage their own efforts to bring about any sort of change.
They are working against themselves towards their big resolution, rather than working with themselves.
All setting a NYR does is remind you of what you are not. You’ll try to run and barely make it down the block, panting our of breath, thinking to yourself “I’m too out of shape for this shit.” The next work out, you feel just as exhausted.
Or maybe you’ll go out on one date and the person will ghost you after and you’ll say to yourself “I’m just undateable.”The next date, you get turned down again.
In a sense, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy. You tell yourself that you are a certain way and things become a certain way.
A NYR, in order to make it a success, has nothing to do with what you physically do but with how you think. Your thoughts create your own reality and in order to make a resolution, in order to make a CHANGE, you have to get down to the bottom of what needs to change: your thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes.
Change within and it will flow out. Naturally.
If you see yourself as a fit person, then you’ll naturally eat healthy and exercise. If you see yourself as financially suave, then you’ll naturally make good economic decisions and avoid poor spending habits. If you see yourself as charismatic and quite a catch, then you’ll naturally attract people.
You see, it all comes down to the core beliefs you have about who you are.
And the reason why you have to accept who you are and where you’re at right now (even if it’s not what you want it to be) is because you can’t accept the idea that you are different from that identity until you actually accept your current identity.
In other words, you have to accept the present before you can accept change. Otherwise, you’ll, naturally, reject the change you’re trying to make.
I say New Year’s Resolutions are bullshit because they don’t work. And the reason they don’t work is because you’re attempting to perform things that don’t fit the role you assigned yourself.
You ain’t losing weight because you see yourself as someone who’s fat. You ain’t getting dates because you see yourself as someone who isn’t much of a catch,
When you change who you believe you are, it is only then that you can change what you do.
People expect to change themselves by first doing a thing, taking some sort of action, when in reality the actions come naturally as a result of changing who you are on the inside. A goal is only work if you are doing things that don’t match the role you think you play.
Look, if you’re fat, lazy, bald, poor. I don’t care. Neither should you. Accept that shit. Accept who you are today and know that you can change tomorrow.
Don’t set yourself up for a big elaborate display to accomplish. Don’t make any New Year’s Resolution. Just lean back, relax. You got this.
Look at the ways you identify yourself. Be okay with the way things are. Only then can you begin to create new thoughts, new definitions of who you are.
Maybe you think you’re lazy. Think of all the behaviors you perform because of that belief within yourself. Do you lie around all day playing video games on the couch? Do you refuse to clean your room?
Think about it: Are you lazy because you do lazy things or do you do lazy things because you (believe) are lazy? I’d reckon the latter.
You can change and become who you want to be.
Slow n’ steady. One. Step. At a time.
It may take longer than a single year.
2022 isn’t a due date. Due dates suck!
But you’ll get there….eventually.
All it takes is a bit of thought. And that’s a lot easier than “working hard and sticking to it.”
Happy New Year and may we survive another year of slacking around the house *ahem* ...err.. quarantine... together!