It’s coming. Your list of life-changing Japanese learning habits that you are ready to form in order to create a fully 2020 (Tokyo Olympics bound) fluent you. New Year’s resolutions – a topic I’ve covered endlessly (here, here, and here), and I am still talking about. Is it because New Year’s resolutions are that important? Or because New Year’s resolutions are that dangerous?
The New Year’s Resolution Cycle of Hell
New year’s resolutions look like this:
- Spend time towards the end of the year thinking about how you want to change yourself
- Research the winning method to make and keep them
- Start the new year off with a bang of good resolution keeping
- Fail within the first several weeks
- Forget about your experience
- Repeat the following year
The standard advice I’ve given in the past to break out of the cycle is to stop making New Year’s resolutions period, and start making new you resolutions. Anywhere, anytime, get what you want now. But I think there is one key time at New Year’s which can sway your chance of success or failure.
The week before New Year’s
A week before New Year’s, you already have swirling around in your mind what you want to accomplish for the coming year. Very few people decide the second 2020 hits, “I need to increase my flash card review time, NOW!”
It’s in this pre-period where magic can happen.
Because the best time to start a New Year’s resolution is before New Year’s starts. If you start your New Year’s resolutions right now, as you are reading this article, it is proving to yourself that a mere gimmick does not determine your fate. If you want something now, you go after it now. 明日やろうはバカやろう。
The second you say:
I’ll start tomorrow.
I’ll start next week.
You’ve already lost. If you are willing to wait a week till New Year’s for something you want now, you are willing to easily let that thing go at the first sign of fatigue a few weeks later.
You want better Japanese? Write down and start in this moment what you are going to do to make that a reality.