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New Years Resolutions and why they Fail

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope that everyone had an amazing holiday season and time spent with your loved ones.
Inevitably, every new year, you hear those around you discussing their new year’s resolutions. You know, those goals that people set for themselves on New Year’s Eve hoping that with the magic of a whole year yet ahead, they will become a better version of themselves.
Here is the thing: I have never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions, nor will I ever be. I find that people set these goals way too global from the beginning, and doom them to failure. Basically, it comes down to four (4) key points for me on why we need to stay away from New Year’s resolutions, and instead, 365 days a year, do what matters to you and commit to that.

Here are my 4 key points surrounding my argument that new years resolutions do not work:

  1. If you look at most New Year’s resolutions that are set, they are based around the premise of doing what you think you should do. The diet industry has contributed to this tenfold. You are constantly saturated with messages like, ‘new year, new you!’ ‘Drop a size or two by February!’ ‘Join (said gym) now, for a limited time offer, to achieve your new years goals!’ ‘Make this your best year yet!’ ‘Have them turning their heads when you walk on the beach come summer!’ Nowhere in those messages and advertisements is it ever mentioned how hard the work will be to get to those goals, nor do they ever point out to people that true healthiness is based in doing what you want to do and what speaks to you — not in trying to achieve some image of what society says you should look like or what you should do.
  2. They are too goal oriented. Not that it is wrong to set short and long term goals for yourself, but with New Year’s resolutions, there is always this sense of ‘I will be happy when…(fill in the blanks).’ For example: ‘Once I meet my weight loss goal, I will be happy!’ ‘Once I quit smoking, I will be happy!’ ‘Once I increase my income by 20% I will be happy!’ So, time and time again, people set these goals for themselves every year, convincing themselves that when that goal is reached (whatever it is), true happiness will shine upon them. Life doesn’t work that way. True happiness, peace, and contentment does not come when you meet that goal or goals. I once heard someone say, ‘If you cannot be happy in the moment no matter what your circumstances are, if you cannot make that choice conscientiously no matter what comes your way, then you will never get it.’ No other truer words have been spoken than that.
  3. There is absolutely zero motivation or commitment to these New Year’s resolutions; meaning that most persons have no personal connection or interest to these goals. For example, how many times have you heard someone say, ‘I really need to start going to the gym. That is my New Year’s resolution. I am going to start going to the gym.’ Yet, personally, they hate going to the gym! They truly have no desire to go to a gym — not to say that they don’t enjoy exercise of some sort, but the gym is just not really their thing. Yet, because they feel like they need to succumb to what society says you should do, despite their lack of connection to working out at the gym or even having the desire to do so, they sign up for a gym membership. And then (and the statistics prove this), within a month or even less, they are not using it.
  4. You have the whole year ahead of you. Meaning, January first is not some magical day where you are bound to have a ‘light bulb’ moment, and you are suddenly motivated to set new years resolutions and stick to them. It literally means nothing. You have 364 other days of the year whereby you can decide what is important to you, and what you want to do-for you. You get to decide on any given day what you would like to do, or change about yourself for whatever reason, but most importantly, it has to be for you because something sparked it and because it matters to you. The fact that it is the beginning of the year has nothing to do with it.

Think about it. Look at someone that you may know, that did in fact change their life for the better. For example, they lost a large amount of weight, started an exercise program, and stuck to it. Did they do it starting January 1st? I would wager to bet that that person you may be thinking of, did it when they were ready to do it. It had nothing to do with the beginning of the year, and the magical belief associated with that factor. Case in point: I have an uncle, that successfully quit smoking 21 years ago now. He was the heaviest smoker that I have ever seen at one point. 30 year smoking habit, of 3.5 packs a day. Did he quit January 1st? Nope. I don’t even honestly remember what time of the year it was, but I can tell you it was not a New Year’s resolution. It happened at a time when he was ready, made the connection of how bad it was for his health, decided he did not want to continue to poison his body with something that was probably going to kill him, and that was that — quit cold turkey. And to this day, he has not picked a cigarette up. 

Armed with the above, it is my hope for everyone reading this that, in the spirit of positivity and joy, you all find your inner happiness and peace. Make the choice to be happy for today (not to say that life doesn’t throw us all curveballs). Strive to do what matters for you, and for how you want to live your life. Stop succumbing to what we are fed in society and the media about what is going to make you happy. Because in the end, life is just too short. I recently heard someone say, ‘You will never get a chance to relive this day. So what are you going to do about it? What choices will you make today that define you?’

And that my friends, is what it is all about, not New Year’s resolutions.

Once again, happy New Year to everyone! (resolution free of course) 😊

About the Author


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