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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Monday, September 14, 2020

6 Reasons To Start Your New Year's Resolutions Early

Two notebooks and a cup of coffee
Photo courtesy of Sincerely Media on Unsplash
It's never too early to start thinking about your New Year's resolutions for the year ahead. It's also never too early to START on them.

New Year's Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. Some years, I think that I look forward to New Year's Day more then I look forward to Christmas. 2020 is already proving to be one of those years, but let's be real, I think a lot of us are ready for 2020 to end. I suppose that is something that many of us say almost every year, but 2020 has been, erm, interesting, to say the least. But the fact that 2020 has been quite a dumpster fire of a year, at least thus far, isn't the only reason that I'm looking forward to 2021. Honestly, the thing that excites me the most about New Year's Day is the motivating energy that comes along with the beginning of January, and the fact that a new year makes for the perfect opportunity to refocus and begin again. So needless to say, for as far back as I can remember, I have always been the type to set New Year's resolutions virtually every single year, and 2021 will be no exception. As a matter of fact, I've already thought of some of my New Year's resolutions for 2021. Actually, to tell you the truth, I've already begun working on a few of my New Year's resolutions for next year.

Now, you may be wondering why I have decided to start my New Year's resolutions for the upcoming year when the current year still has a few months left in it. You may also be wondering why I am even calling them New Year's resolutions when I already started them months before New Year's Day. Well, aside from the fact that I am done allowing 2020s negative and bizarre vibes to bring me down, I have found that there are actually quite a lot of benefits of setting and starting your New Year's resolutions early. As for why I'm still calling them New Year's resolutions, even though I instituted some of them as early as August of this year, well, to put it simply, these are my New Year's resolutions going into 2021. Meaning that just because we are months out from the new year, it doesn't mean that I can't start getting ready for the new year. This was actually something I started doing last year, and I found that starting my 2020 New Year's resolutions in the final two months of 2019 helped me to adhere to my 2020 New Year's resolutions for a lot longer. At least, until the pandemic threw me for a loop. I think that's excusable though, none of us were expecting any shit quite like that.

6 Reasons To Start Early On Your New Year's Resolutions

It gives you the time to properly plan for your goals

Laptop, planner, and coffee on a desktop
Photo courtesy of Alexa Williams on Unsplash

Be honest, how well do you actually plan for your New Year's resolutions? Because I'll be honest with you, in past years, I would hardly plan for them at all. Let's be real for a second, a lot of the time, I would go into my New Year's resolutions with absolutely no plan at all, and I wouldn't have a single clue as to what I was supposed to be doing. If I did have a plan, it was usually a half-assed plan that I came up with during the last few days of December. Or it may have been a detailed plan, but it didn't account for the fact that it's hard to sustain a sudden lifestyle change, such as suddenly becoming a morning person when you're used to waking up at noon. Or perhaps you want to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill in the upcoming year, but you don't even know where to even start learning about it, or what to do first. Or maybe you're looking to declutter your home, but you have absolutely no system as to how you are going to go about decluttering; then you find yourself sitting on the floor overwhelmed, and everything gets shoved back into the closet. In any case, trying to go into an ambitious goal or resolution without a realistic plan can be a bit overwhelming and can quickly lead to failure.

Let's be real, a lot of the time, when I don't have a plan, I won't even start on a New Year's resolution or a goal because I'll have no idea where I'm supposed to start. Heck, if I don't even make plans for my day, there's a high chance that I'll end up mindlessly scrolling social media and watching TikToks all day. This also ends up becoming the case when my plans are unrealistically ambitious. So needless to say, if there is something that I want to achieve, I need to come up with a gameplan to do it, and not only that, but my gameplan must be flexible and realistic. So when it comes to your New Year's resolutions, the great thing about setting them months in advance is the fact that you have plenty of time to properly plan for them. It gives you the time to properly do your research and come up with a system that you believe will work the best for you. It gives you the time to gather any resources that you may need to begin working toward your goal or to take up the new craft that you're looking to take up. It gives you the time to specify what you really want to do or achieve, rather than just generalizing it. It gives you the time to actually try your plan out, and perhaps begin to work to get where you want to be before January 1st arrives.

You can give each resolution a "trial run" before committing to it

Woman getting ready to do a workout
Photo courtesy of Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

I don't even know how many times I've set a New Year's resolution out of pure excitement, only to find out by early to mid-January that it's not something that I actually care to stick to. Let's face it, almost all of us have set New Year's resolutions or have decided to take something up out of pure excitement, only to find out that it's just not for us. And you know what? That's absolutely okay! Some things just don't work for us, or for our lifestyle, or they just aren't where our interests actually are, as much as we may be intrigued by them. I don't even know how many times I've taken up a new hobby, only to find that I didn't have much interest in actually doing it, and I preferred just watching someone else do it on YouTube. Nor do I know how many times I've taken up a new lifestyle choice, only to discover it doesn't actually serve me. And the thing about New Year's resolutions is that a lot of the time, we do set them out of excitement. Perhaps we find a new hobby on Pinterest that looks like a lot of fun, and we want to take it up in the new year. Or we hear about an interesting new lifestyle choice on the internet, or from a friend, and we want to try it out for ourselves. But then we go to actually try these things, and we quickly discover that they aren't for us.

Seriously though, if you try something and discover that it's not for you, it's okay. If something doesn't bring you any joy or serve you in any way, it's okay to drop it. Even if a ton of other people swear by it, if it doesn't work for you, you don't have to keep at it if it isn't bringing any value to your life. If you don't want to drop it entirely, you can always adjust it to make it work better for you, but seriously, if something really doesn't serve you or interest you, and it isn't necessary to keep doing it, you don't have to force yourself to do it. However, with that said, even when I find that a New Year's resolution that I've set doesn't end up serving me, I feel a little guilty about dropping it by the end of January, just because I've committed to it as a New Year's resolution. So perhaps, a good thing about starting your New Year's resolutions early could be figuring out whether or not you're sincerely passionate about something or not before you actually commit to it on January 1st. That way, if you end up not caring much for it, or it's not working for you, you can drop it before you feel any obligation to stick to it. Or you can adjust it accordingly.

You can adjust your plans for your resolution, as needed, before January 1st

Woman sitting on a couch writing in a planner
Photo courtesy of Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

Sometimes, I will start on a New Year's resolution or a goal that I have, and I'll find that while it is bringing joy and value into my life, the current plan isn't really working for me, and needs to be adjusted a bit. I know for a fact that when I get excited about something, my plans can be a little too ambitious, and it can be too big of an adjustment too soon, or it's more than I can plausibly do at the moment. There are also cases where I'll set my resolutions to be a little bit bigger than they need to be, and I'll find that if I dial them back a little bit, it'll be easier for me to stick to them. For example, there's no reason that I need to wake up before 5:00 AM, and I'd never actually stick to waking up that early without having a legitimate reason to. So instead, my goal became to wake up at 7:00 AM; early enough to enjoy the morning time, but not ridiculously early for someone working from home. There have also been times where I've loved how implementing specific changes to my lifestyle has made me feel, but I wasn't enjoying the process. To give an example of this, you may find that being more active makes you feel happy and energetic, but you don't like the workout program you're currently following.

My point is that, sometimes, while you may find that something does serve you and adds value to your life, you may find that your current plan isn't optimal for you, and you'll need to adjust it a bit to work better for you. So that being said, don't be afraid to switch up your gameplan if your current isn't really doing it for you. It's okay if you feel that you need to dial your ambitions back a little bit because you found that they were just a little too much for you. It's okay if you need to take things a little bit slower than you had initially intended so that you can ease into a lifestyle change that's significantly different from what you're used to. Or if you need to give yourself some extra time to learn a new skill before taking on a big project. It's okay if you need to switch some things up, or even change your plan entirely to make it work better for you and bring more joy into your life. Seriously, if you believe that a different workout program would help you to stay consistently active more than your current one, then switch to something that you would have more fun with. If you're looking to become a content creator, but you have a hard time getting excited about creating content based on your current niche, then change the direction of your content. There is nothing wrong with changing your plan if it'll help you stay on track.

All of that being said, the great thing about starting your New Year's resolutions early is the fact that it allows you to test out your gameplan and to see what works for you and what doesn't. It makes way for plenty of trial and error when deciding upon a plan that works for you, and shows you firsthand what works for you and what doesn't. It allows you to make adjustments before January 1st so that you already mostly have your action plan down when it's "officially" time to put it in gear. I also must say that another great thing about starting your New Year's resolutions within the last few months of the current year allows you to see how your plan holds up to busy or hectic times. Or times where the motivation generally isn't there for a lot of people. Not a lot of people are willing to start something new or make any significant changes to their lifestyle during the holiday season, or during the last few months of the year in general. But if you can (at least mostly) stay on track during the hectic holiday season, then you know for a fact that this resolution or goal means something to you, you have a solid plan, and this wasn't just something you said you'd do out of excitement.

It allows you to "ease in" before January 1st arrives

Getting ready to do a workout
Photo courtesy of Anastasiya Pavlova on Unsplash

New Year's resolutions can be ambitious, to say the least, and if you start them where you want to be on January 1st, it can be like going from zero to one-hundred in a split second. At first, this can be quite exciting, and you may feel unstoppable for a few days, or even a few weeks, but then end up burning out. Sometimes, the burn out happens slowly, and you slowly begin to drop your New Year's resolutions, little by little, and one by one; until they're practically erased from your memory. Then sometimes, the burn out happens all at once. Especially when you're making some rather drastic changes to your lifestyle, without giving yourself any sort of an adjustment period; such as going from waking up at noon to waking up before 7:00 AM. Or if you're going from scoffing at the very idea of working out as you're holding a bag of chips and watching Netflix, to doing an intense hour-long workout every day, skipping the beginner modifications and going straight to advanced mode. I'm not saying that it's impossible to stick to your New Year's resolutions if you jump right into them on January 1st without easing in first, but it's usually not very sustainable. Especially if you have a lot of ambitious goals for the year ahead; it's just too much all at once.

With all of that said, I am going to guess that most people who set New Year's resolutions have the intention of adhering to them, even if they typically don't for one reason or another. I personally feel that it's safe to assume that burn out is one of the main reasons that many people end up ditching their resolutions; that, and a lack of a realistic and proper action plan. Many of us also expect to be ready for our New Year's resolutions on January 1st, but like I said, sometimes that can be like going from zero to one-hundred in an instant. So, perhaps, a great advantage of setting and starting your resolutions early could be the fact that it allows you the time to ease into them before January 1st arrives. Then you're actually ready for them on New Year's Day, and they won't feel like a shock to your system, as you've already been working on them for a while. And who wouldn't want their New Year's resolutions to basically already feel like second nature when January 1st arrives? Or at least to be closer to that point.

If you want to do something badly enough, why wait?

Photo courtesy of Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Unless there is some super compelling reason as to why you have to wait until January 1st to start on something or start living the life that you want, why wait? Seriously, if you want something badly enough, and there really isn't anything holding you back between now and New Year's Day, why wait to get a start on it? I know that January 1st seems like the best day to embark upon a new journey, and I'm not really going to argue with that, but honestly, there is no time like the present. When it comes to something that you really want, you don't have to wait until the "right time" to start on it. You don't have to wait until January 1st. You don't even have to wait until Sunday or Monday. Heck, you don't even have to wait until tomorrow if you don't want to. You can get started right now if you wish. Obviously, I'm not saying that you have to get going right this very second, but the sooner you get started, the better. Besides, think about how far along you could already be with your goals on January 1st if you start working on them now, versus if you chose to wait.

Perhaps, you can still turn the current year around

Bloom where you are planted
Photo courtesy of Jonathon Borba on Pexels

We all have those years that we feel, well, just aren't our year; and for many people, 2020 has been one of those years. Believe me, I am right there with you when it comes to wanting 2020 and its negative vibes to be done already, as this year has really not been it for almost any of us. At least, it has not been it up to this point anyway. But honestly, although 2020 has objectively been a bizarre year, and it's easily the strangest year that any of us have lived through, and it's been quite a shitstorm up to this point, let's all keep in mind that there is no such thing as the perfect year. Seriously, every year is going to have its not-so-good moments, whether on a personal level or on a more global scale. Undeniably, some years have more of these less-than-positive moments than others, 2020 being one of them, but that doesn't mean that we have to allow these years to bring us down; nor does it mean that we have to let the year thus far influence how the rest of the year goes for us. Seriously, you don't have to wait until January 1st to begin to live your best life again. You don't have to continue to allow this year to be "the worst year ever" for you; you can turn it around if you choose to. And perhaps, choosing to live the life you want to live next year right now can be a way to begin to turn this year around.

I know how tempting it can be to want to just throw the rest of the year away. I think we'd all like to "cancel" 2020, especially as it's already quite literally canceled. But perhaps, instead of "canceling" the year itself, when there is still quite some time left in it, maybe instead we should "cancel" the year's negative energy. Or, perhaps you could look at it as if you're so done with the current year that you're living like it's 2021, or whatever year comes next if you're reading this post-2020. It's up to you how you choose to look at it, but seriously, there is absolutely no reason that you have to keep allowing a shitty year to hold you back when you can make the rest of this year your bitch as you head into the next year.

While it may seem a bit silly to start your New Year's resolutions in September, October, November, or any time before January 1st, there are certainly a lot of good reasons to get an early start them. Seriously though, there is no time like the present. There is no reason why you have to wait for a specific day to get started on your goals, or to begin working to change your lifestyle. Besides, wouldn't it be interesting to see where you are by January 1st, and what you can continue to build from there if you start now? I supposed that to a lot of people, embarking upon your New Year's resolutions months before January defeats the purpose of calling them New Year's resolutions, and with that said, it's entirely up to you whether you call them New Year's resolutions or not. Perhaps, you can dub them as your Pre-New Year's resolutions. You could also opt to call it your last 90-day challenge or however many days are left in the year when you embark upon your goals. You also have the option of just calling them your goals or lifestyle changes you want to make. It really doesn't matter what you call them, as long as it motivates you.

Have you been thinking about your New Year's resolutions for the New Year yet? Have you already started working on yours? Do you not set New Year's resolutions at all, and just set and start on your goals regardless of what month it is? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
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