“New Year, New You.” I’ve heard this expression voiced over and over the last week or so and I have to say I cringe just a little every time! According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a New Year’s resolution is, “a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.” I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions to start with, because of I’ve never kept one. Ever. I’m not saying that they aren’t great for some people, but definitely not for most. In fact, according to U.S. News, 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail. By FEBRUARY!
This is why I think so many people fail and how I think we can do better:
1. Many resolutions are hard to quantify.
For example, “I’m going to be a better wife and mom” or “I’m going to be more productive at work.” How will you know if you’ve been a better wife? What steps are you going to take to get there? When do you know if you’ve been successful and by who’s standards (yours or your partners)? Instead of making these colossal proclamations, try making small goals instead. Such as, “I’m going to remember to ask my partner how his/her day was each evening and be genuinely interested in what they say.”
2. Resolutions can be ginormous.
I’m not talking just about the scale of the things you want to accomplish, but also the expectations that you’re putting on yourself as well. Resolutions are a lot of pressure! I was once told by someone that I have, “unrealistic expectations of others” and I can definitely add “and myself” to this statement as well. I once made a resolution to stop eating all fast food. This isn’t a resolution friends, this is lifestyle change. There is a difference! 3 weeks into January when I caved and had late night Taco Bell, I felt deeply disappointed in myself. Year ruined! We need to give ourselves a break and be kind to ourselves if we don’t succeed at first, or at all for that matter. Having a resolution instantly gives you a finite amount of time (one year) to accomplish something that may in fact be a change that takes you years to accomplish- ahem, that 30 pounds I’ve been trying to lose.
3. Why do we have to transform into someone totally new?
Change is great, and goals are a must, but I kinda like who I am right now. The phrase, “New Year, New You” makes my upper lip tremble in a snarl normally produced by my dog. One yearly decision I keep or don’t keep is not going to make or a break who I am. Instead of focusing on something we want to fix about ourselves, lets focus on what motivates us to do better. So you haven’t lost 5 pounds yet (after working out 2 days in a row!), but did you find an activity that you enjoy doing? Find the positive!
This year, I’m not making a 2018 resolution. I’m going to continue on my current path to searching for my passion, find things that inspire me and continue making many goals that I know I can accomplish in a short amount of time. I’m not going to make any promises, but I will continue to think positively! What do you think? Did you skip the New Year’s resolution this year?