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9 Reasons Why I Start My New Year's Resolutions in November


I’ve never liked New Year’s resolutions, but I know setting goals and planning out how I’m going to reach those goals is crucial to my development.

A year is also a good time frame for goals, in my experience. It’s long enough that I need discipline to reach them, but short enough that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So I believe in setting goals, and I think a year is a good time frame. Why do I hate New Year’s resolutions?

Because you never need to wait to start improving yourself and your situation. I’ll flush out what I mean in the nine reasons below, and share what I think will help you, too.

1. It comes naturally from planning ahead.

A new year is always a good opportunity to reevaluate, and I tend to plan out my goals the way a business might plan theirs.

As a small business, you start toying with what to do next year at the beginning of the fourth quarter. By November, you have an idea of what you need to do and the strategies to do it.

I think about my personal goals the same way. Except, there’s no company or other departments that I need to get on board before I can start.

By November (or at least by the end of the month), there’s nothing holding me back from what I know I need to do, so I start doing it.

2. I like to avoid hype.

I’m not a big fan of hype (nor hullabaloo). I tend to prefer things that are more methodical (or what I might call “sensible”).

In November, the biggest discussions are whether it’s too early for Christmas music, and how soon the Dallas Cowboys will be eliminated from the playoffs.

Few are talking about New Year’s resolutions or setting goals, and that provides the perfect opportunity for me to focus without distractions.

3. It helps me take full advantage of my motivation.

The holiday season is the most distracting time of year for me, and I’ve noticed that I’m the most motivated - I have the most energy and passion - when I first start working towards new goals.

Starting my New Year’s resolutions in November helps me make sure I’ve got enough motivation to work towards my goals daily, even during the most distracting time of year.

By the time January’s done, I’ve created the discipline I need to keep going every day, even when my motivation begins to slip.

4. I like to get in before others.

I like being the first person in the office. I like to recommend books or songs before everyone else hears about them.

In general, I like to be a step or two ahead of as many people as possible. (It doesn’t make me better or smarter than people, but there are some benefits.)

What better way to get ahead on New Year’s resolutions than by starting six weeks before everyone else?

5. It’s easier to grab your attention.

As a writer and a marketer, I’m always fighting for attention. How can I grab your eyes and ears when there’s so much going on in the world?

I either need to be unique, 10X better than everyone else, or a little early.

The first two are difficult, but only a few people are talking about New Year’s resolutions in November, which gives me a great opportunity to stand out.

6. I kind of hate New Year’s resolutions.

There’s no reason why you or I or anyone else need to postpone making our lives better.

True New Year’s resolutions start on January 1, in a haze of stale booze, sleep deprivation, and societal pressure. I might be wrong, but that seems to be why so many people drop out by the end of February.

If you want to make things better, the only way is to start.

I want to continually improve, and if that’s something you care about, then I want you to reach your own goals, too! Unfortunately, putting things off till the new year normally helps no one and hurts many.

7. I did it one year unintentionally, and I loved it.

A few years ago, I thought, how cool would it be to say one day that I’d read a book a week for a year? I kept thinking, and after a lot of internal turmoil, I knew that if I didn’t start right then, I never would.

That was on November 15.

I had a good experience, and got a good response, so I tried it again with a new goal (to be able to quit my day job to freelance full time.)

After writing and working towards it every day for hundreds of days, it became an option! I didn’t quit my day job, but I did learn that discipline doesn’t wait.

8. So I can give an annual recap before the end of the year.

The end of the year is usually flooded with summaries, “best of’s,” and other annual recaps. They play out quickly, and then people move on.

But if I finish my annual project in November, I still have time to talk about it (and to start my new one) before everyone gets distracted or bored. It also brings closure for me before the new year starts.

9. Because New Year’s resolutions don’t matter.

What do you want to do? Is there anything stopping you from taking the next step, however small it might be?

For most of us, the answer is “no,” and that frustrates me.

Everyone has goals and ambitions. We all have some mental image of what would be nice someday, or of what we want to be when we grow up.

But how many of us create plans to get there, or to the next stage?

So, what now?

I’m can’t say everyone should do what I do, but I’ve had good experiences reevaluating and setting year long goals. I think you could too.

November is just a convenient time for me, but you could sit down to do all of this in March, or August, or anytime.

Progress isn’t going to wait for you - or for anyone. The best time to set your goal and start working towards it is right now. So what’s stopping you?

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