Saturday, February 4, 2023

It’s Never Too Late to Restart Resolutions and Habits

Scott D. Parker

How are your New Year’s Resolutions coming along?

I saw a statistic that said by today—Day 36 of 2023—a shocking 80% or more people have already given up on the resolutions they so fervently made at midnight on 1 January. Eighty percent. I think the figure is higher, to be honest. There’s even a holiday to help folks who waver on their resolutions. It’s called National Quitter’s Day and that was back on 13 January.

As I wrote back in December, I had certain personal goals—okay, let’s just call them habits, okay? That’s what they really are—that I wanted to do in January. I started re-reading the Psalms (one a day for 150 days), I re-read the Proverbs (31 chapters for 31 days in January), and have started to re-read Ryan Holiday’s Daily Stoic. Taking a cue from Bryon Quertermous, I bought a weekly planner and kept track of every habit I wanted to set.

So far? Success. It’s feels very nice to have reached the last day of the why-does-it-feel-so-long January and all my boxes were checked.

The other thing that also was checked? The writing habit. My writing goal for January was simple: start a new project and write on it every day. I had no word count goal but I tend to zero in on 1,000 words per session. Again, 100% success.

Now, it wasn’t perfect. There were a couple of days when I had to slog through the writing, but I sat down and did it.

By the 31st of January, I had amassed approximately 39,000 words on the new novel. That’s not quite NaNoWriMo speed (50,000 words over 30 days) but considering the dismal writing I did in 2022, I’ll take the win. You know how I knew the new habit was locked in? When on that first Saturday morning, I opted not to watch a movie before I finished my words for the day. That Saturday Habit has continued. That, my friends, is a fantastic feeling.

But what do you do if life threw you curve balls in January and you’ve had to catch them, dodge them, hit them, or let them hit you?

Start again. Seriously it’s that simple. Just start.

What’s great about February is that it has the fewest days of any month. If you’ve wanted to start a new habit and have fallen off the wagon, start again on Monday. Do the writing, do the exercise, do the reading, do the calling of your friends or family you haven’t spoken to in a long time. There are only 24 more days in February. It’s a nice, short length of time to get back to the habit you know you want to ingrain in your brain.

Start today or tomorrow and do that new habit every day for a week. Your reward? The Super Bowl. Then aim for the next week. You make it that far, you’ll only have ten more days until the end of the month.

You know you want to create that new resolution, that new habit. I’m here to tell you that it’s never too late. But you will have to do one thing:


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