The Annual Reminder That the Makeover Montage Doesn’t Exist IRL

by | Jan 3, 2024 | Mindset

It’s January 3rd, which means for most of us, we’re settled into our normal(ish) routines following the holidays. Maybe you hit New Year’s Day feeling ready for all that 2024 may have in store, and are still riding the New Year’s Resolution/goal-setting high. I know that I am—despite all research to the contrary, I still love a resolution. I love an intention. I love any reason for goal-setting, really. (And I don’t stop at Jan. 1. I’m also big on check ins in March at the Spring equinox, my birthday in June, back to school in September, and usually after my big A race. Really, it’s a constant process.)

At any rate, I know this is a time where a good portion of us are feeling optimistic about our year ahead. And personally, I think that energy is awesome… to a point. What I’ve noticed about myself is that year after year, I hit the new year with a lot of ideas and enthusiasm, but also with ludicrously high expectations—and as a very impatient person, I want those high expectations to happen for me right now.

I partially blame my age: Millennials grew up with makeover montages in pretty much every movie or tv show that we watched and loved. Starting with Rocky and The Karate Kid up to Legally Blonde, we were blasted with fast progression from beginner/high school loser to fast/strong/smart etc. in the course of a 2 minute song accompanied by a training montage. (So much so that it was parodied constantly in movies of the early to mid aughts, but by then, the damage was done. My generation freaking loves a makeover montage. And who could blame us?)

So, this is the reminder that I need on January 3 as I realize that 48 hours has not been enough to completely change my life and habits… the makeover montage isn’t real. Or rather, it is, but unlike the movies, we can’t fast-forward, and nor should we want to. My worst habit is thinking into the future—I often feel like I’m living for two weeks or two months from right now, rather than the present moment. This makes the urge for instantly visible progress even worse!

This year, I want to focus on the incremental gains that actually continue through the year—that means sticking to the tiny habits, not stressing that there’s no obvious finish line. The makeover montage isn’t real life, but gradual progress can be. (And hey, if you decide to film bits and pieces of your year to actually make a training montage by next December, I am all about that.)

Heading into 2024, you can still have those goals and resolutions. Use that energy. But don’t get sucked into the “it all has to happen right now or all is lost” game.

Happy New Year to all of our readers/listeners! We’re excited for what the next 365 days are going to bring for all of you, and we’re stoked on some exciting projects that we’re planning for this space. Make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter so you don’t miss anything!


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