How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? I ask because this is usually the time that most people are beginning to fall out of their goals for the year, and back into their old routines.
I’m no exception.
One of my goals for the year was to spend 20 minutes a day on Duolingo, a free app that teaches you your choice of language. Well, unfortunately, it’s been about a month since I’ve opened the app. I did well for a while, but then completely collapsed. Why is that?
It’s not like I made a commitment to run five miles a day. I asked myself for 20 minutes. Finding 20 minutes during my day isn’t hard. Sure, I’m busy – I keep a full schedule. But 20 minutes is always available.
And what’s the long-term return? In just a routine 20 minutes I could become competent in basic Spanish by the end of the year. This is a skill that I could continue to build upon; and I’m certain that it would prove beneficial in the future.
Isn’t it an easy decision? 20 minutes a day, in exchange for a 2nd language. If you’re young, if you love to travel, if you love learning new things – If you are any combination of the three (ME) – This is a no brainer.
If it’s such an easy decision, why isn’t it easy to stick with?
Spending 20 minutes on an app is much easier than a common resolution that I’m sure many of you chose to pursue this year — exercising more.
The first week at the gym is hard, but it’s fun. Even with the sore muscles you’re excited about beginning the journey. It’s fresh, it’s new. Your workout partners are awesome. There’s great weather. Your gym is currently running a discount on membership. You have awesome new workout clothes. You’ve got a new shaker bottle, and new training supplements.
It’s a perfect storm and everything is as it should be.
But as my favorite middle school novel “The Outsiders” explains (with the help of Robert Frost), “Nothing Gold Can Stay”. Things are rarely perfect, and when they are they don’t tend to last.
When the honeymoon wanes, what are you going to do?
I would argue that it’s hard to stay consistent because of the incredible number of firecrackers that are thrown into our lives every day. So much time is spent on making sure our homes don’t catch on fire. And it’s so easy to be overwhelmed, right? We are forced to prioritize. This first. That second. You, go here, in third. And it sucks. It’s not the greatest way of managing things – it’s really poor actually. But it’s what we have to do. Because life is unpredictable.
With all that being said. That’s why it’s hard to keep up with resolutions. Something that has major macro implications just isn’t as imperative as your house catching on fire – and it never will be.
So in the case that you’ve broken your New Year’s resolution because of the massive barrage of life’s firecrackers, I offer to start a March 30th resolution with you.
Today, I’m going to spend 20 minutes on Duolingo.