The New Year always feels like it’s supposed to be a fresh start: The first day of the first month of the New Year. In the words of Admiral Ackbar (Star Wars) “It’s a trap!”
Why doesn’t the first of August have the same potential? What about the first day of the week? Monday presents the perfect opportunity for a fresh start – 52 of them actually – and yet it’s everyone’s least favorite day of the week. Monday is so fraught with dread that it spills over onto poor Sunday. There was Sunday, minding its business, resting and relaxing and now it has to deal with Monday’s issues. (Tuesday could not be reached for comment.)
For all practical purposes, we’ll be just getting out of a 365-day abusive relationship with what might be one of the roughest years of our lives. Is rushing into a new year really what we need right now? We might need a minute. Maybe we won’t be ready to march forth until March 4th.
My advice regarding New Year’s resolutions: Don’t make any. But if you do, here are seven tipsy tips:
Why make one resolution when you can make a dozen? Dilute your energy, focus, and resources.
2. Listen to Your Inner Critic
Your inner critic is that frenemy who reminds you you’re not smart enough, tall enough, and you’re damn sure not thin enough. What’s the last thing you saw through to the end: the bottom of an ice cream container? Put that on your LinkedIn.
3. Give a Heads Up to Your Haters
Every now and then your inner critic may take some time off. You’ll know, because you’ll be feeling good about yourself and your choices for no apparent reason. This is where your haters come in. Share your hopes and dreams with people who don’t have your best interests at heart so they can jump in and fill the void while your IC is on a cigarette break. (See also: Greek Chorus and Naysayers. Known to live in a barrel with crabs.)
There’s always a reason to put off starting something. Find it. Cling to it. Share it on Twitter. Say you’ll do it tomorrow and if tomorrow means 10 years from now, your inner critic will be so proud.
Always compare yourself to the most successful people doing the thing you want to do and instead of being inspired by it, let it discourage you; Because everybody knows, if you can’t be an over night success by the age of eight – which is super late – why bother.
6. Go It Alone
Whatever you do, don’t ask for help. Don’t take any classes. Don’t read any books or articles or watch any YouTube videos. No one in the history of time has ever wanted to do what you’re doing. You go on and reinvent that wheel.
7. Wait for Motivation
The greatest motivator of all is death. Tomorrow is not promised. And so, maybe you’ll get lucky and have a near death experience. You live to tell the tale at virtual cocktail parties. But like the pain of childbirth, the giddiness of the second chance at life fades and you’re back to binging on Netflix.
If these seven personally test-driven tips don’t resonate with you, maybe instead you’ll take some real time to reflect. You’ll pick one thing that really matters to you. You’ll put your head down and do your best work; paying as much heed to your inner critic as you would to any social media troll. And you’ll remember that motivation is not the wholly owned subsidiary of January or Monday, but any and every day you choose it.
I’m looking at you Tuesday.
Leighann Lord is a veteran stand-up comedian, author, and podcaster.