It’s eleven in the morning on New Year’s Day.
The average people are dragging themselves out of bed and shaking off their hangovers .
Many of them are making promises to themselves; this year they’re going to quit bad habits, get lean, wake up early, earn more money, and be better to their friends and family. They’ve made New Year’s resolutions, because they believe in the symbolic, ritualistic power of a fresh calendar year.
But last night, these average people wanted nothing to do with good habits. They kicked off the year by indulging in all their worst vices. They’ve already taken their first step on the path of stagnation and decline.
“This is my year,” they’re saying. “I’m becoming a better man…”
“I’ll just get started on January second.”
I had big plans for New Year’s Eve.
I was going to rage all night, and spend the first day of 2015 in a fog. Then I was going to wake up on January 2nd and probably, maybe, potentially become a better version of myself.
But instead I’m here:
- Awake at six AM, taking the best supplements for male health, and sitting at my desk making money
- In the gym at eight
- Writing this post at nine
- Eating a healthy lunch, making a fresh vegetable juice, and spending the afternoon drafting proposals for new clients
This is the day I’m choosing.
Unless you’ve done something similar, I’m already kicking your ass in 2015. I’m miles ahead of you, and not just because I’ve had one productive day.
The Power Of Symbolism
Humans are not computer programs. There is a spiritual component to getting motivated that transcends SMART goals and Excel tracking sheets. Becoming a better version of yourself requires more than desire.
If you want to change, you need a story to tell.
You need be a hero with a compelling narrative and a plausible character arc. You need iconic moments that create memorable hook points.
The same principles of persuasion apply, whether you’re trying to motivate others or yourself. Stories always stick.
January 1st is an arbitrary day, but I’m choosing to infuse it with meaning. Missing out on the New Year parties and waking up before dawn is a memorable, threshold-crossing, symbolic renunciation of frivolity and idleness. It’s an experience that will stick with me throughout 2015, reminding me that I’ve chosen a path of discipline and commitment.
What Symbolic Action Can You Take?
If you’re reading this and thinking, “Damn, I missed my chance… but that sounds like a great idea to try in 2016!” you’re taking the wrong message.
Yes, it’s too late for you to start 2015 with a perfect day. But January 2nd is still a great day to do something significant, and give yourself a powerful start to the year. What can you do to make your mind see today as a turning point in your life?
Do you want to get in shape?
Go to the gym and commit to having the hardest workout of your life. Load a squat rack with something you can do comfortably for 20 reps, then do sets to failure with one minute of rest until you can’t do a single rep. If you truly give it 100%, I guarantee this is the hardest, most grueling workout you will ever do.
Do you want to make more money?
Call in sick tomorrow and see how much you can earn in a day of work.
Spend a day figuring out how to make money on Fiverr, even if you think you’re “above” freelancing online. Start training yourself to think like an entrepreneur.
Is there a big project that you’re set on accomplishing in 2015?
Stay up all night and work on it for 24 straight hours.
Pulling all-nighters on a regular basis isn’t a good idea, but do it once to give yourself a memorable experience. Take a picture of your haggard self at the 24th hour and put it near your desk. Today is the day you become obsessed to the point of madness.
How You Can Catch Up
If you’ve had a slow start to 2015, you’re probably feeling like an asshole right now. But you shouldn’t. It’s natural and healthy to want to let loose and celebrate the end of a great year.
In my case, I didn’t have a great year. I lost a lot of money, took a painful vacation from the game, and spent the past two months mired in unproductive depression and anxiety, getting absolutely nothing done.
It was a good year overall. The spring and summer of twenty-fourteen brought me unprecedented enjoyment and personal growth. But the tail end sucked a whole bag of dicks, and I have no one to blame but myself.
The result is that I had no desire to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I haven’t earned it. My ascetic New Year’s brought me infinitely more happiness than a night of contrived revelry.
What Comes Next
To my readers who found new heights of success in 2014 – congratulations, friend. Your challenge is to stay hungry.
To those who did not, now is a good time to do some reflection and re-orientation. Did you celebrate last night? Why? How did you feel this morning?
Did you wake up today feeling guilt and shame? It’s probably because you celebrated without having anything worth celebrating. You were going through the motions of happiness, when you should be focused on re-building your life. I know because I’ve been there.
If that sounds familiar, try taking a next month off from drugs, booze, late nights, and Tinder. Join Thumotic as we put our heads down and decide right now that we’re going to earn a debaucherous, dangerous, self-destructive New Year’s Eve exactly 365 days from now.
2015 is The Year Of No More Fucking Around, and I invite you along for the ride.