The media is filled this time of year with tips and stories on how to make and keep New Year’s resolutions. Historically we know most resolutions go by the wayside in a few weeks and most of us are right back into our safe, comfortable and familiar routines (or ruts) from years past.
The short answer is it doesn’t work. Why? Because at its core starting is personal and is most effective when it’s our choice. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal (Saturday January 4th, 2014) researchers looked at the correlation between voluntary giving and giving compelled by a penalty for failing to give. While penalty induced giving may have increased participation, it also limited the level of a participant’s giving to the minimum.
The struggle with when to start is a trick question that puts us at odds with what we all know but often forget. We can say we are going to start this or that today or tomorrow, but the only time to start is the “now” or the “moment of now.” We have become so adept at measuring, calendaring, scheduling and arranging the passage and projection of future moments, we’ve mostly forgotten that a moment is a slice of time in which all of life happens or not. It’s here and gone before we know it, forever etched into the time we call “yesterday” or projected as a time not yet here we call “tomorrow.”
Eventually he’d be “welcomed” into the acceptable fold of academia as a professor at both Oxford and Cambridge. But perhaps his greatest contribution stems from his wonder of watching an apple in his mother’s garden fall to the ground. Eventually he would test, experiment and formulate this simple event into what has now become known as Newton’s first law of motion.