Why You Should Never Make New Year’s Resolutions
The new year is almost here and you know what that means – it’s time to make some resolutions! Or is it?
Every year we tell ourselves this is the year we’ll finally lose weight, get out of debt, learn a new skill, and so on.
But let’s be honest, how often do we actually stick to our resolutions? Statistics show that 80% of resolutions fail by February. So save yourself the disappointment and don’t even bother making resolutions this year!
But I can see you need some more convincing, so let’s explore some of the reasons why creating New Year’s resolutions is a recipe for disaster.
8 reasons why you shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions
1. You’re setting yourself up for failure
When you make lofty resolutions that require major life changes, you’re basically setting yourself up for failure.
Most experts agree that making small, gradual changes is much more sustainable over time. Swearing off carbs completely or vowing to go to the gym every day usually ends in bingeing on bread by January 15th and never setting foot in the gym again.
2. Your resolution might not really be what you want
We often make resolutions based on what we think we “should” change rather than what we actually want to change deep down. For example, vowing to stop watching reality TV or to read War and Peace because you feel like you should be more cultured. But who really wants to give up guilty pleasures or force themselves to do something they have no interest in?
3. You’re trying to change too much at once
The number one problem with resolutions is that we tend to take on too much too fast. We get overambitious and try to completely transform multiple areas of life overnight. Not surprisingly, this overload and abrupt shock to our system is unsustainable. We inevitably burn out and give up.
4. Perfectionism causes procrastination
Here’s the reality – change is hard and growth gets messy. When we make resolutions, we idealize how effortless and perfect our transformation will be. When reality falls short of this fantasy, we get discouraged and delay starting. Suddenly “I’ll start my diet on Monday” turns into next month which turns into next year.
5. Lack of planning leads to lack of follow through
A common mistake is making broad resolutions like “lose weight” or “save more” without concrete plans. When we don’t break goals into specific, measurable steps with time frames, we have no roadmap to follow. Vague resolutions make it easy to procrastinate starting and give up later.
6. Minimal accountability leads to backsliding
Striving to accomplish goals on your own is challenging because we lack objective feedback and have no one pushing us to honor our commitments. Without social accountability, resolutions like exercising regularly or calling family fizzle out quickly once life gets in the way.
7. No rewards causes lack of motivation
Let’s be honest – sticking to resolutions can feel like an uphill slog, especially early on when change is hardest. Without positive reinforcement, our determination fades quickly.
That’s just human nature, I’m afraid. When we don’t actively celebrate progress and give ourselves incentives, we lose steam.
8. If you were really serious, you wouldn’t wait
If we genuinely want to change something, why wait for January 1st?
The truth is we use the new year as an arbitrary starting point to justify delaying action. “I know I should get healthier but I’m too busy, so I’ll start after the holidays when things slow down.”
The problem is, there will always be a reason not to start today.
As we approach another new year, resist the temptation to make ambitious resolutions that set you up for failure. Major change rarely happens overnight. Instead, focus on incremental improvements through daily, intentional action.
Forgive yourself when you stumble and get back on track. Enlist friends to cheer you on and celebrate small wins. This year, skip the dreaded resolutions and create a lifestyle of continual growth.
The new year offers hope of a fresh start and renewed motivation. Yet lasting change is built slowly over time through consistency. Want to improve your life? Don’t keep waiting for the “right” time or special event. Start where you are, start small, and start now.