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Why don’t puppy dogs make New Years Resolutions?

I posted this article on another blog in late 2012, and given that we’re about to hit a new year, albeit a New Financial Year, my thoughts on it haven’t changed in the six months since.

At this time of year most us take a few moments in amongst all the hectic partying and end of year craziness to reflect on what sort of year it has been for us.Whilst it is always good to be able to have a chance to reflect upon what we have done, and what we hope to achieve the following year, I always wonder why people need calendars to mark off their motivation.

We know the statistics on New Year’s Resolutions – 97% of New Years Resolutions will be forgotten about by January 7. Actually, I just made that up, but it’s probably close. We’ll set a goal that is just too unrealistic, and not based on evidence that we can achieve it.

If you haven’t already set up a habit of exercising on a regular basis and being mindful of your nutrition, what difference does a change in a calendar make? Why does next Monday or the start of a new month make any difference? If you are putting things off until then, or tomorrow, or when you have time to get around to it, I can tell you – it ain’t gonna happen.

If your goal meant that much to you, you would already be putting steps into place to make it happen.

So don’t set a goal for 2013 that is completely beyond your capacity to achieve. What do I mean?

If you haven’t been able to ‘make’ time to exercise every day, and nothing will change in your work or personal life to allow that to happen, January 1 won’t make a difference.

If you haven’t realised by now that what you’ve been eating is killing you insidiously, there will be no epiphany on January 1 that will last any more than your hangover or the left over mince pies.

If you haven’t by now worked out that the pain in your knee is not because you do too much on it, but you don’t move enough, then January 1 will not make an iota of difference.

January 1 doesn’t actually mean anything to the Universe. The earth rotates inexorably, never stopping for a moment to ensure that we’re ready for the next phase of our life. We age constantly, we regenerate new cells every moment of our life. Waiting for a day in the future to make something amazing happen simply means we don’t want amazing to happen enough.

Do it now, today, this very moment. Whatever it is you plan to start on January 1, make a start right now and put the wheels in motion. The Universe is not waiting for you to get your shit together!

So do yourself a favour and stop crapping on to yourself and everyone else about what your goals are going to be. If they meant anything to you, you’d already be doing them. Whatever you are doing now is what is most important to you. If you don’t like what you are doing now, then stop doing that, and do something that you want to do. It’s not that hard!

And the answer to the question? Why don’t puppy dogs make New Years Resolutions? You tell me. If you haven’t worked it out by now, you’re probably going to make a New Years Resolution…

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Matt Jolley has been coaching fitness and sports for over 25 years. He has led several treks to complete the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea as well as operating a multi day trek along the Great Ocean Walk several times a year and also runs a Bali Fitness Adventure and a Lombok Trek Adventure - encouraging everyone to take on a challenge and grow from it

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