A new year brings possibility: a clean slate; a reboot; a chance to start over. For the first few days of one, you might feel equipped to make a change.
As days pass, the halo of newness fades. Your resolution starts to feel pointless, foolish, or hopeless. You realize you aren’t going to do it. You choose to be more “realistic.” This one’s too big. Besides, you don’t believe that you deserve the rewards that’d come from this change.
Others compound your doubts. Misery (or, complacency) loves company. Your peers worry that if you do as you intend, you’ll leave them behind. So, they repeat phrases like “resolutions never work”—because it’s easier to be cynical than take a chance. The pressure to abandon your resolution increases.
Let me draw you back. Your resolution isn’t unrealistic. Your goal is not unattainable. It isn’t a threat to who you are, nor to your friends. You deserve what will come from it. All that stands in your way is fear of change—but you can overcome that.
So, start with this: Find the smallest thing you can do to move yourself closer to achieving your resolution—and do just that. You needn’t do anything more. This small act is ample. Tomorrow, you’ll take the next step, and the day following, another. It needn’t happen fast—just keep going. (And if you fumble, start again.)
Trust me. You’ve got this.