January is the traditional time for resolutions – I’m going to get slim, I’m going to get a better job. We all know them, and in our secret souls we know that most of them will have faded within a few weeks or months.
Maybe this year you’ll achieve more if you start from a clearer perspective; not so much a question of what is it you want, but more realistically, what price are you willing to pay?
You see, you always pay a price, even if your choice is to do nothing. Make sure you know what that price is – and whatever you choose, be at peace with that. When you are properly aware of them, you can own your choices and your decisions are conscious, not just something you roll into.
Slimming is an easy one. We’d all like to be slim, especially after Christmas, but if you don’t want to eat healthily, avoid drinking, and do exercise, accept you’re not willing to pay the price and know you won’t do it.
Career changes are right up there as one of the major New Year resolutions. You’re fed up with the job, you can’t stand your boss, the commuting’s just too much. Then you start thinking and actually changing might mean retraining, starting at the bottom, taking a pay cut, studying five nights a week for the next 6 months….so it goes.
But if you don’t make any changes, your circumstances might mean you remain unhappy at work, you might become depressed and you might not your family as much as you want to. So what price are you willing to pay – because everything has a price and you will have to pay it.
We humans are not good at taking the long term view. Lots of studies have shown we want immediate results – like the children who’d rather have one cupcake now than wait half an hour and get two. That’s why the lottery is so popular or why fad diets are always coming into fashion; we want the results but we don’t really want to pay the price.
So next time you’re setting some new year goals, think about what your choices really are and what price you’re willing to pay. And if you realise actually you don’t really want to do that diet or there are, after all, positive things about the work you do, then accept this is your choice and own it.
It looks amazing to win an Olympic swimming medal, but I know I’m never going to. I wouldn’t want to get up at 5am six days a week to go training – that price is way too high for me. But I reckon I’m okay with that…