Why I Don’t Make Resolutions
I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions many years ago. Maybe even decades ago at this point. I like the concept of evaluating where we are in life and setting goals for how to improve ourselves. The problem with making them on New Year’s is that there is a lot of pressure put on that day for being a change for the rest of our lives and perfection seems to be anticipated, and expected, from day 1. If we fall short, we give up, throw in the towel for the whole rest of the year, and go back to our un-healthy or un-productive ways saying, “there’s always next year.”
Did you know that studies show that 80% of New Year’s Resolutions are abandoned around February? But that it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic? In some cases, it can take up to 254 days for people to form a new habit. That is over 8 months! If the only leeway you have given yourself is 4 weeks, then you are set-up for failure and disappointment.
Instead, why not routinely evaluate where you are and see where you want to be and see if they are in alignment? If so, great! Keep on truckin’! If not, set up an action plan for yourself for what you want to do and how to get there. I have previous talked about making a SMART goal, which is an excellent way to get started. Aim high and expect setbacks. Plan for those setbacks and have an inner monologue ready for yourself so you don’t give up.
We aren’t perfect. We will make mistakes. Constantly. We will slip up. That doesn’t have to be the end. Pick yourself back up and try again. Hopefully the slip ups and the mistakes with our new habits happen less and less, and further and further apart. But keep at it! You will get there eventually. Don’t let a date on the calendar tell you whether or not you have been successful. Don’t let it dictate your actions. Don’t let it bully you into giving up. Are you wanting to quit smoking? Start a fitness routine? Learn a new skill or hobby? Save more money? Spend more time with family or friends? Travel more? Read more? Eat healthier? But it is also March, or June, or September? So what?! You can do it now.
So if you have made a New Year’s Resolution this year, that’s fine. I wish you much success! If you have a few slip ups along the way, don’t give up. You got this. And if you haven’t made any resolutions, that’s ok too. You can always check in with yourself throughout the year and see where you are and where you want to be. I know you can get there. Whatever the time is, the time is right. Good luck!