If you’re feeling the drive to become a better version of yourself, then it can be tempting to start working on ideals and resolutions that you can start living by in the new year. However, real change doesn’t happen all at once like a New Year’s resolution would imply, and by confining yourself to a single chance at a better lifestyle, you’re setting yourself up to fail before you’ve even started.

Knowing all of this, this article aims to highlight exactly why you shouldn’t wait for the new year to start working toward becoming a better version of yourself.

The Trap Of New Year’s Resolutions

The idea of a New Year’s resolution is a neat and exciting one. A fresh start is often what people feel like they need to really make a change to themselves, and there are few starts fresher than an entire new year. However, this thought process is a trap and it invariably ends up doing far more harm than good. Fortunately, there is a better way.

How To Make A Change

If you truly want to make a change to your lifestyle and become a better version of yourself—an ideal that only you can define—then there are three things to keep in mind that will help you do that far more than a new year’s resolution can.

1. Be Specific

Many New Year’s resolutions fail because they’re not specific enough. What does “I’m going to exercise more” mean to you exactly? If you can’t define what you mean, then you’re going to struggle to stick to that goal. If you’re able to explain exactly what you want to achieve as part of the goal setting process, then you’ll be able to stick to it far better.

2. Don’t Delay

One of the biggest issues with a New Year’s resolution is that it puts all the emphasis on a single day. A single moment where you simply start doing all the hard work that you’re not doing now. The issue is, it’s really, really hard to go ahead and start doing everything at once.

Instead, it’s much more effective to tackle the problems head on as and when you notice them. This way, you’re not delaying and building up a lot of anxiety and fear around doing things right.

For example, if you notice that you’re not happy with signs of your skin starting to age, it’s much more effective to learn more about the best ways to deal with that right away. Rather than expecting yourself to juggle that along with a dozen different goals at the start of a brand-new year.

3. Expect To Struggle

This might sound like a bit of a bleak point to keep in mind, but being bleak doesn’t necessarily disqualify it from being useful. Life isn’t a straight progression that you can follow directly upward. In fact, it’s much more like a wave; there are ups and downs, but running into issues doesn’t have to mean you lose your progress altogether.

If you expect to struggle with your goals, then you’ll find it much easier to pick up again and keep going. Consistency is the key to real change, and true consistency often requires you to pick yourself up again after a “failure” and keep going—something that most New Year’s resolutions don’t allow for.