There’s no stopping it now. We are officially living in the new year. I am excited that, so far, I have only misdated one document (although, I wrote 1919 for the year, so I don’t know what that says). Most of us accidentally use the prior year before getting acclimated to a new January. Another thing a lot of us do is come up with New Year’s Resolutions.

I do not.

It’s not that I’m lazy with no understanding of discipline, I just find resolutions sort of self-defeating. Glimpsing January 1st in the distance, we feel this great optimism that this is going to be the year: we are going to lose weight, quit smoking, go hiking, get another job, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

And then here comes February 3rd and we haven’t made much progress. According to Businessinsider.com, “about 80% of people fail to stick to their New Year’s resolutions for longer than six weeks.” Well, that’s longer than I thought, but still. It’s very noble to want to erase bad habits and get into new, healthier ones, but you can’t expect to change your life overnight.

For example, Lifehack.org mentions that one of the biggest obstacles to lasting change is that “you’re trying too hard.” Considering weight loss, Lifehack.org tells us that the more you restrict a certain food, the “more you’re going to want it.” They suggest that you start by making small changes rather than dramatic ones. Let’s say that you really like greasy burgers and fries from the place down the street. Eat that, but also include a small salad and replace your soda with water. After a while, exchange your large order of fries for a small. Then, forgo the fries all together.

Baby steps, friends, baby steps.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to make positive changes in your life. However, putting pressure on yourself based on what the calendar says can really have the opposite effect. Quit smoking all at once, fling a pack of Post-Its at your boss’ head and you’ll be looking for a new job in the new year all right. Instead, and again, gradually take away the things that aren’t benefiting your life. After all, like Elbert Hubbard wrote: We are punished by our sins, not for them.

Another thing that Lifehack.org recommends is to track your progress. Be honest with yourself and legitimately document how many smokes you’ve had, how many sit-ups you’ve completed. If you’re actively trying and actively telling the truth, you might be surprised at how well you’re doing in just a little while.

The professionals of Bourke Accounting wish you all the best in the new year. They won’t tell you to put down the remote and go jogging, but a Bourke Accounting representative can help you to make better financial choices. A Bourke Accounting expert will offer advice on how to reduce nonessential expenditures and how to avoid visits from the Tax Man. Bourke Accounting can change your life, no baby steps required.

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at www.bourkeaccounting.com. See you soon!

Written by Sue H.