Point vs. Counterpoint

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

Picture this: it’s December 26th, you are sitting at the dinner table with that holiday weight keeping you from being the best version of yourself you can be. You know you want to do something about it but New Year’s Eve is just four days away and if you start now, you’ll be gaining all that weight back in one night before you even visually assess or appreciate any results. What is the solution to this dilemma, you ask? Well, the last hurrah, of course!

So you eat whatever you please up until the last day of December and on the first of January, you are satiated enough to cut yourself off from things you don’t want in your life anymore. The food that is weighing you down? January 1st is when it ends up in the trash! Those home workout videos that have been sitting in your “Watch Later” pile? Pull them out, get your shoes on the mat, and start counting. The people around you are doing it, you can too! Why would you start in February, when you can start in January and make another month count!

I mean, it only makes sense to start in January. Chances are that you are just coming back from a co-op or have a job that gave you a Christmas bonus that covers a little something from your resolution goals. If you wait until February to start your resolution, I can assure you that money would have been spent on some more unhealthy habits already. You would have had that all-you-can-eat sushi at that new place already, you would have made a couple trips to the pop-and-chips convention and, well, the bonus would have been burned to cents by now. You’d have regrets by February, and a penny. Why would you do that to yourself? Why?

And if that isn’t enough reason to start your New Year’s resolutions in January, here’s another perspective. Let’s say your resolution is to have a planner for the year. Why would you start planning your year in February, when the planner begins from the month of January? Imagine the gap! Imagine the things you will miss and the meetings you will forget to attend because you insisted on holding off on your resolutions in January?

January is a month of no affairs. There aren’t a lot of celebrations past New Year’s Day so you can really get down to achieve your goals without any distractions. You won’t have to carry the guilt of straying from your goals so soon after you started. Whereas, in February, there is Valentine’s Day. What are you going to do, not go on that date your partner spent six months planning? Come on, you are better than that.

And of course, there is the issue of the length of the month. It is believed that you make a habit out of something if you repeat it 30 times. February only has 28 days, 29 if you are lucky. January has 31. If you crunch the numbers, it is more probable for you to achieve your goal if you start in the month of January than if you start in February. It is plain statistics.

Also, what would you tell your friends when they ask you what your New Year’s resolution is come January? Are you going to tell them you are starting in February? At that point, it is not even the New Year, and it sure as heck isn’t a resolution. It is an intervention you staged for yourself. Would you even remember what you were planning for your resolution last year? My bet is ‘no!’. Then, just stick to the status quo and let things be. Just be one of the 40% who doesn’t quit the gym in January itself.

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