People love New Years resolutions. They undertake big sweeping changes that will improve their lives for the better. They think about what they want and they look ahead willing themselves into a future that has alluded them their entire life. And then they wake up a week later and realize that there isn’t enough will to go around.

The gyms get packed in January. I would bet that January is Black Friday for gyms in any city, as hordes of people come, to disappear once again shortly, keeping the cost down for regular members.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Our resolutions and the improvement of our life doesn’t depend on strong will and hallow words of commitment that we definitely mean when we are smoking our last cigarette, and finishing up the last bit of wine.

It doesn’t have to be this way because instead of grand sweeping gestures, we need to realize that change happens in small, constant, unassuming purposeful action. Drips and drips of tiny effort, compounded day after year, bleeding into year after year. That is a way to write a novel, master a musical instrument, find a soulmate, and parent. 

Drip, drip, drip. 

Of course this seemingly insignificant effort is not without failure and failure is most natural to everything. It is as natural and should become as easy as breathing. After all, cold days eventually turn hot, and vice versa. Day defeats the night. A new age always builds upon the old.

Failure is inevitable and an important part of the journey and that is why everything you do should be approached drip by drip. When you make a willful resolution, it is natural and inevitable that you will fail, and the more daring and resolute your aim, the longer it is to find the same amount of courage to begin again. Not so with little changes.

Denying yourself little things are unseen and nobody sees you fail. If you have too much too eat, not enough time to sleep, miss a work out or two, nobody will notice and you have the advantage of getting back at it again tomorrow, instead of waiting for a new year to circle back around again.

Drip, drip, drip.

If you’re going to make any changes in your life, do it today, do it quietly and don’t tell a single soul. Be accountable to yourself. Write it down. Make it official and attainable.

Start by living and working toward your goal, whatever that goal may be. We all have our struggles and each of our struggles is uniquely ours. I struggle with sweets and bread. Food is comfort for me and I cyclicly seek it out when it gets dark and cold outside. I also struggle with a bad self image. There are days where I really don’t like myself. I can’t remember when it all started, probably in my childhood or why I still feel and think like this sometimes, but I do. The important thing is not that I have struggles and weaknesses, like you do, the important and amazing things that my life is becoming better, drip by drip, and day by day.

The only sad part is that I cannot join in celebration at New Years. I don’t get to follow along and buy into the mass hysteria that sweeps across every hamlet in the world. I do miss grand sweeping gestures, but I am comfortable knowing that I have found a better way.

Cover photo generously provided by photographer Anandan Anandan