It’s December. The holiday season is in full swing. We blew past Thanksgiving, black Friday, and Cyber Monday. Now it’s holiday parties, decorating, baking, shopping, travel, visitors, yadda yadda.
There’s even more clamoring for our attention (gotta get things wrapped up before you go on vacation), or sense of duty attention (buy your loved one a car with a bow on top if you don’t want to be a shmuck), or inner party animal (how will I manage the opportunities/pressure to drink and “party?”). So this is the time of year that many people give in, give up, and give away their dreams and aspirations. Not forever, just for the holidays, just until January 1st, or maybe 2nd, right?
It seems to make sense. Just set aside eating right, or getting to the gym, or being careful about spending, or being your best present/loving/patient self with family. It’s just for a few weeks, and you’ll get right back to it. Right?
What most people don’t realize is the power of momentum, and how much harder it is to regain momentum, than to lose it. And they don’t realize how rapidly we can go from managing the inner gremlin, who encourages us to succumb to the cravings, or skip the gym, or the worst, who demeans and chastises for falling off the wagon in the first place.
James Clear, author of the stellar book, Atomic Habits, points out that you’re either actively practicing following through, or you are, by default, practicing NOT following through. You either ARE someone who is committed to your goals/habits, or you aren’t. My favorite quote from the book is, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems,” and “You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.”
So this holiday season, consciously CHOOSE the goals you want to sustain, not abandon, through the holiday season. DECIDE even the smallest consistent actions you can take to keep momentum. Clear calls them “atomic” habits because atoms are the smallest known thing in the universe, yet they matter most because they make up everything. What are the most “elemental” habits (tiny, yet mighty) you need to sustain your momentum into 2020? FIND the right support to help maintain the energy and accountability to follow through. And CELEBRATE when you take any of the actions that support your goals.
And when New Years rolls around, and other people are making their New Years resolutions yet again, and trying to build momentum yet again, you’ll be feeling proud and on track, and ready to rock 2020. Right?