Every year, you make the same promise to yourself. “This year, I’m going to be better. This year I am going to make a change!” And what happens? Nothing changes. The same old routine continues until next year when you tell yourself the same story.
If that sounds familiar, then it is about time you stopped making New Year’s resolutions, and here are some reasons why.
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New Years Resolutions set unrealistic expectations
Maybe you can stick to your resolution for one week or even one month, but by the end of the year? That is unlikely! We all have our own lives and responsibilities that get in the way of us achieving our goals.
This means that only some resolutions are achievable in a reasonable timeframe. This can lead to feelings of disappointment which aren’t worth it.
It will add stress
Making a resolution adds an extra layer of pressure to your already busy life, and this is something that none of us need! Instead of trying to pile more onto your plate, why not focus on what you are already doing well?
This will add plenty of positive reinforcement to your life without adding any additional stress-related issues into the mix.
Resolutions Are too vague
Most New Years’ Resolutions are general, like “get healthier.” It can never tell whether they have achieved them. For example, if your resolution is “I want to be healthier,” how do you know when you have achieved it? A goal without a plan, is just a wish.
It’s All or Nothing Thinking
Let’s face it – most resolutions are made with the best intentions, but they often become too overwhelming too quickly. Let’s say you want to get fit and healthy in 2024. So you decide to go to the gym five days a week and start eating healthier.
Uf you miss one day at the gym, you think your whole goal has failed and give up altogether. This defeats the purpose of setting yourself resolutions. If you don’t stick to them, then there’s no point in making them in the first place!
They Create Unhealthy Mental Patterns
When we fail at our resolution, it reinforces unhealthy mental patterns like perfectionism and an inability to focus on short-term goals. We start to think, “If I can’t stick with your resolution for an entire year, what’s the point?”
This type of thinking sets us up for failure before we even begin. Instead of focusing on achievable goals one step at a time, we set ourselves up for disappointment if our goal isn’t reached within a specific timeframe.
You Don’t Need To Wait For A New Year
You don’t need an arbitrary date on the calendar to make positive changes in your life. Rather than waiting until January 1st rolls around yearly, why not set small achievable goals throughout the year?
That way, when December 31st comes around, you can reflect on all your achievements rather than focus on one big missed opportunity!
Just because the calendar flips doesn’t mean change needs to happen immediately. You can decide later in the year that this will finally be your time. That you’ll eventually break free from whatever bad habits have been holding you back.
It doesn’t matter if it’s June or October; if now feels like the right time for a fresh start, go ahead and make one! Successful changes come from within, not outside forces like societal expectations or calendar dates.
Forget the Gym (Unless You Love It)
People flock to their local gym every January with good intentions of getting in shape. But by February, most people are back at home watching Netflix with a pint of ice cream.
Instead of wasting your money on a membership you won’t use and spending time going somewhere you don’t want to be, skip it! If you already love going to the gym, then there’s no need for a resolution.
It Starts with Good Intentions
At the start of each new year, many people decide they will make some positive changes to their life. They might choose to exercise more, eat healthily, or save money. These admirable goals should be achieved, but not necessarily as part of a New Year’s resolution.
You Don’t Need an Excuse To Change Your Life
The other issue is that people often use New Year’s resolutions as an excuse to make changes they should have been making. You don’t need an excuse like a new year starting to take steps towards improving your life.
You can do this any time throughout the year! All it takes is dedication and hard work, and you’ll be on your way toward achieving your goals without needing a yearly reset button.
What To Do Instead Of New Years’ Resolutions
Small Goals Are Better Than Big Promises
Rather than setting one huge goal for yourself for the year (like losing 50 pounds or running a marathon), try breaking down that big goal into smaller goals that are easier to achieve—and more rewarding when you reach them!
When those little goals start stacking up, they become the building blocks of larger successes that will help keep your motivation high all year round. Plus, those mini-goals give you something tangible to celebrate each month or week.
Say No To Fad Diets
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, fad diets are ridiculous. Why spend all that time counting points or eating only cabbage when you could be eating delicious food instead? The reality is that any diet that requires significant changes is doomed from the start.
So say no to fad diets this year and enjoy food. Dietician Shares 12 Foods You Can Eat A Lot Of Without Getting Fat
Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself
Things sometimes go differently than planned! In keeping with the previous point, it’s vital to avoid beating yourself up if things go differently than planned or if something falls through altogether.
Instead of being hard on yourself, sometimes differently than planned, remember that there is always room for growth and improvement throughout the year—not just when the ball drops at midnight on January 1st.
One of the best anti-resolutions out there is being kinder to yourself this year.
Don’t Set Unrealistic Goals
We all want to be our best selves, but sometimes our expectations for ourselves exceed our capabilities. When this happens, we become overwhelmed because we can never meet unrealistic standards and expectations.
This leads us down a path of unhappiness and feelings of failure, which is the opposite of what New Year’s resolutions are supposed to do! Instead of setting too high expectations, try setting small achievable goals throughout the year so they won’t seem so overwhelming when the time comes.
Your Only New Years Resolution for 2024: No New Years Resolution
There is no doubt that New Year’s resolutions are great in theory, but sadly, only some people can stick with them long enough to become habits or part of their everyday lifestyle.
Instead of setting yourself up for failure every year by making unrealistic goals, why not focus on improving aspects of your life little by little over time instead? Throw the calendar out the window and just try to be a better person regardless of the month.
Happy new non-resolutioning!
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Erin is the mother of identical twin girls and their slightly older brother. She is a domestic engineer, and previously had a career leading customer service teams for a major HVAC company. Cleaning without harsh chemicals, and cooking easy and usually healthy meals are part of Erin's daily life. She volunteers with youth leaders, and genuinely wants to help others win. Erin has a degree in Communications, with a focus on Broadcast Journalism.