For those of you who are looking beyond Christmas, New Year’s is only two weeks away. The coming of a new year is a time many look forward to with resolve, to make new habits, or to break old habits. A quick search shows about 2.5 million ways to make a habit or break one. Ways to make new habits (we’re assuming they’re good habits) outnumber ways to break what we’ll assume are bad habits by about six to one. Sounds like we’re better at wanting to add new habits (writing more letters, reading more books, going to the gym) than we are getting rid of old ones (smoking, eating too much, procrastinating).
I tend not to make New Year’s resolutions per se. Why set yourself up for failure, I say. Even so, I often find myself looking for new beginnings, milestones dates on the calendar to start over, trying to slay some particularly troublesome habits, only to fail, without fail, not long after I start. What I have discovered (and, no, I didn’t check out all 2.5 million links – but feel free…) is that there are no shortcuts, especially when it comes to getting rid of a bad old habit. Surprise, surprise.
So what will it take? According to one of the millions of hits:
- Wanting to change
- Consistent action
This advice sounds much like what I found on other pages. Simple enough in concept, but still not easy, and no shortcut to success. The first two I think I’ve got, although my desire for change apparently hasn’t been strong enough to generate a lasting commitment, or consistency and perserverance in the face of trial.
Well, what was it Alexander Pope said? Hope springs eternal? Let’s hope so.