Christmas is in the air, which means that 2017 is soon coming to an end. People are out shopping for gifts, drinking hot cocoa by the fireplace, or are sulking in a corner, wondering where their life went... No? Just me? Oh, ok...
Jokes aside, even if you don't feel particularly stressed or worried about the passing of time or feel like you aren't spending your time as wisely as you would want to, I think everyone can relate to that feeling of not having enough time, whether it be for school, work, or learning new skills.
Especially when winter comes around, many people look back on the past year and what they have acheived, or maybe not acheived. Things don't always go as planned; maybe you didn't get that promotion you had hoped for. Maybe you quit that gym membership. Or maybe you never got around to going on that dream vacation you had planned to go on this year. That really is too bad, but anyways, 2018 is just around the corner. New year, new goals, right? Well, I oppose to that mentality. I know that the premise of New Year's resolutions can feel very motivating for many, but I would like to tell you why you shouldn't wait until the new year to get motivated, and start setting up goals and get to work now.
You might give up on old goals
If you failed at accomplishing a New Year's resolution before the next year comes around you might feel tempted to turn over a new leaf and just forget about the fact that you didn't manage to do it within the timeframe you gave yourself. However, the danger of this is that you might abandon old goals that you could still acheive. Maybe last year's resolution was to learn knitting, but you never got around to it. Well, too bad, and you don't have any time to learn it before December 31st. But next year you're definitely going to learn something, maybe programming or the guitar. Who's to say you can't start to learn now, even if it's just the basics? Of course, if you actually gave up on it because you aren't interested in it anymore, or it's no longer relevant to you or where you are in life, you shouldn't work towards it just in order to check it off a list, but if you really do want something, go for it, and don't let yourself give up on it just because you it didn't happen this year, and start seeing it as "a goal I have to complete" rather than "a goal I have to complete within 365 days". This can help reduce stress, and make you feel motivated from working towards an acheivement rather than out of fear of not getting it done in time.
You are more likely to cheat up until January 1st
A very common New Year's resolution is to loose weight. If you have already planned to do that next year, it's likely that you let yourself cheat up until January 1st and have a few more Christmas cookies than you would have had otherwise (because you won't treat yourself at all next year, right?). This will just make it harder when you actually start exercising or dieting. Why not just do your future self a favor and start right now? Or say your goal for 2018 is to write a novel. Begin brainstorming and writing now so that you won't sit there in December next year and only be half-finished because you didn't have any ideas back in January. If you start now, you will finish sooner, so don't use it as an excuse to slack off now. If you have some spare time, you won't regret spending it all doing nothing later when you would actually need it.
You can't forsee the future
My last advice is to just be patient and let things take time if they need to. A lot of unexpected things could happen in the next year which might put your goals on hold or lead to you getting new ambitions that you should perhaps prioritize. Maybe your New Year's resolution is to buy a car, but you end up moving to a place where the public transport is great. Or maybe you wanted to get promoted at the office, but the art you've been working on on the side is starting to gain some serious attention. A year is a long time, and life is full of surprises. Sometimes things work out the way we want them to, but sometimes they don't, and we shouldn't try to control every tiny aspect of our life, but instead be open to new things because they can lead to new opportunities and new goals. You shouldn't let aspirations hold you back just because you feel like you have to complete them in this year if it means giving up on new, maybe even better chances of success.
Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year, but it's also a holiday with time for reflection and relaxation, so why not take the time to already now start thinking about what it is you want in life and how you're going to acheive it. If you wait until after Christmas, you might feel overwhelmed when work or school starts again and those responsibilities in addition to all these new goals. New opportunities and aspirations can come to you anytime, and you should be open to them and start setting goals all year round instead of just on January 1st. Don't wait, but start acheiving right now, and see how much you can accomplish once you set your mind to it and start doing it for yourself instead of for the sake of crossing things off a new year's resolution-list.