I wrote yesterday about how my New Year resolutions never work and why that is the case. One reason is the amount of time I set aside to prepare for my New Year resolution. You can’t just change from one day to the next, maybe some of you can, but for most of us, we need a bit of time to adjust.

Making broad sweeping changes on the 1st of January seldom works as many of us are still in some form of recovery mode. Expecting to make a successful change from the 1st of January onwards is a challenge that I frequently fail. Instead of one sudden change in direction, would it not be better if we gradually changed our direction?

We’re starting to move out of the dark winter months in the northern hemisphere. This move is slow, but it’s enough to allow us to plan for what I view as the best time of year to implement change, around March.

Instead of making a New Year resolution, I tend to view the next few weeks as a proving ground for change. Sure, I want to make a change in the New Year. Still, I know that I can’t make the switch overnight, which is why over the next few weeks, I’ll explore a few things that I want to do different and see which changes are feasible to make and sustain.

During this time, I’ll outline some goals for the current year and break down what’s involved in achieving those goals. It might take a small change, or it might take a more considerable change. Whatever is involved, I’ll use the next few weeks to see what I need to do to achieve those goals. This might come in the form of changes to my day, what tools I use, reading, writing. Anything really to make these goals and changes clear. I can gradually implement these changes over the next few weeks to see what works and what doesn’t.

When we finally get to March, I’ll know what changes will work and what doesn’t, and I’ll stick with the working modifications for the remainder of the year to meet my goals.

I’ll also have recovered enough from the festive period that I’ll be back in a routine at home and work. I will be able to make better decisions on what is right for me. Being in a pattern make implementing changes more straightforward, as they are easier to schedule. I don’t know about you, but trying to make these changes on the 1st of January is a whirlwind. 

This gradual change is slow, but it’s more effective than the sudden change of direction that a New Year resolution offers. By giving myself time to recover and adjust, I can see better what will work for me for the rest of the year.