BRAD ROBICHAUX — Advice from the Internet: “No more zero days”

Published 12:17 am Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Nearly as cliché as discussing New Year’s resolu- tions are the discussions about how cliché New Year’s resolutions are.

I’m not going ask what people are planning to do or change about their lives in 2020 because at the end of the day — and end of the year — New Year’s is just another day that was picked to be the last one. I tend to think the winter
solstice would make more sense as the last day of the year.

I might ask people why they can’t start their resolutions a few days from tomorrow, instead of right on Jan. 1, since there’s nothing about Jan. 2 or 3 that keeps them from being just as good a day to start a resolution. Probably a better question to ask would be why they didn’t start their resolution on Dec. 31, or Dec. 30, or any of the days before that.

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So why didn’t you start that resolution before now?

Because change is hard and habit is easy. It takes adjustment. People have to learn what the new normal is, what practices still work and which ones will need to be adapted, or even be scrapped. It’s something that sports teams deal with every year as older teammates leave and younger ones join.

Each year’s team is different, and the team has to fig- ure out how this team is going to work together through practice and a few early games before the games that matter start. It’s about the search for that “chemistry” basketball coaches are so fond of talking about. Memo- rial head girls coach Kevin Henry calls this search “the process.”

For the teams, change comes whether they like it or not. It’s the case for everybody — not matter what some- one might do, change is going to come. It’s inevitable.

Forced change is still hard, but most people end up choosing to adapt rather than the alternative. The real challenge is trying to choose to change.

New Year’s Day is a great motivator — what with it being designated the start of a whole new annual cycle — but it’s also a great excuse for not doing it sooner. At the risk of one more cliché, this is my theory on root of why so many resolutions fail — waiting seems to make those bad habits much more fun and those hard commitments so much harder to make.

So I’d like to try something. I’d like to try to forget about start dates, milestones and scheduled goals, which just make you feel bad when you don’t reach them at the appointed time. I’d instead like to try to think more about the “process.”

I’d read a good while ago a post in an online discus- sion about motivation. This poster talked about having “no more zero days,” a day in which absolutely no effort is spent working toward a goal or an improvement. No waiting for a start date — it begins as soon as possible and continues every day. Every day you do something, anything at all, that is meant to help bring you to a goal. You do just the one thing, just one, and you won’t have a zero day.

The idea is to see how long you can go without a zero day, with the goal to never have another zero day again. They’ll happen; it will certainly happen to me. You’re sup- posed to brush it off and start the process over again.

There are no deadlines, no timetables that are planned then scrapped when they don’t happen. It’s all about the process.

Google “no more zero days” to find the post on Reddit. It’s peppered with coarse language, but power through it for a very good read. I don’t really know who this Internet stranger is, but the post makes a little bit of sense to me.

It’s better than not trying at all.

Brad Robichaux is a reporter for The Port Arthur News. He can be reached at