Point vs. Counterpoint

PCP (Point) – New Year’s Resolutions Should Start in February

Have you ever found yourself totally terrified of December 31st? Paralyzed by the prospect of another New Year’s Eve party where people will be talking about “new year new me”? Have you ever dreaded the next day when everyone’s favourite question becomes “What’s your new year’s resolution?”? If you haven’t, you should, and if you have, you know the reality of resolutions only too well.

Sure, it’s nice to change something or decide to focus on something new to improve your health or mental well being in the new year; but you don’t need the pressure of doing it when you’re grumpy, hungover, and still eating leftover Christmas chocolate! Save the self-improvement for when you’ve had time to really settle into the new year. Try it on for a month, see how it feels, get a taste for what you might actually want to do differently now that you’re on the other side of the countdown. Resolutions are like fine wine my friends; the longer you ruminate on them the better they will be when you actually start them. Of course, you do have to eventually start them and I am telling you the time to do that is February 1. A month-old bottle of wine may be nasty, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the smashed grapes you put in a bottle last night at midnight and took a swig of the next morning. (Did I take that analogy too far?)

No doubt you’ve heard the stat that most people give up on resolutions by February. This is no coincidence. Starting a workout regime when you haven’t left your couch for a week because it was the Holidays is the antithesis of fun. Wait until you get back to work or school and you start feeling sad, alone, and left out working at a desk all day or working on assignments at 3AM – now that is a real motivator to get yourself to some cycle classes and find your Soul. Trust me when I say eating only peanuts and ramen for a month after being pampered with delicious foods by your family over the break will get you right in the mood to start learning how to properly cook meals for yourself.

Starting anything in January is brutal, not least because it’s always dark and cold out – spring feels like 100 years away. I have no motivation to eat healthy and exercise when I can live in bulky sweaters and coats, but by February I’m starting to remember that reading week is coming up, and suddenly spring will be on us like a lichen on a rock – you don’t notice it and then it’s everywhere and you’re the only one not wearing shorts to class. February is, as my high school conductor used to say during concert season, Crunch Time. If you’re going to start it has to be February or it’ll never happen; and there’s nothing engineers love more than working under pressure.

Want more facts? Still not convinced? January is a full 2-3 days longer than February, but if you’re still going strong on your February resolution by March, you can still say you’ve been doing it for a month!

January is the worst time to join any new venture, because undoubtedly there are a billion other people who have resolved the same thing as you who will be killing your vibe. Have you been to CIF recently? I haven’t because I’m waiting until February when all the January starters have stopped coming and I can teach myself how to use a dumbbell without 40 other people waiting to use it after me.

Most people can’t make it through that first January month of resolutions, and it really is no coincidence. Sure there are no real numbers about the amount of people who get through a February resolution, but if there were I am sure you’d see an increased success rate. That is 101% a real truth. I am spilling the tea here on some major reality that the reduced January gym memberships want to keep from you people!

People might try telling you that you’re doing new years wrong by starting your resolutions in February, but you can just remark that they obviously already gave up on their resolution to keep their noses out of other peoples’ business, and walk away. You’re better than them. Or at least you will be by the time February rolls around. And if you can’t make it through February, March is just as good a month to start over again.

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