I’m writing this as the last day of the year is ticking down and there’s remains a few hours left to make your New Year’s resolution. Every media outlet has been telling you about the right resolution to make. Perhaps the ‘Get Fit For The New Year’ headline on a fitness magazine caught your eye in the supermarket this past ay and you grabbed a copy to take a look at. Getting fit does indeed sound like a great thing to promise yourself to do once the clock hits midnight and you’ve decided to go ahead with the concept of making such a promise to yourself.
Maybe you’re very excited with regards to making your resolution and you already have on in-mind. Or maybe you’re on the fence and you haven’t quite decided which way you to go with yours. Either way, I’m here to tell you something critical.
Don’t Make A New Year’s Resolution This Year!
There…I said it. Resolutions are an age-old tradition and it makes total sense as to why they are. You made some mistakes this year, because you’re human and we do indeed make mistakes. But let’s stop and think about those mistakes.
Maybe you didn’t work out as much as you think you should have. Perhaps you ate way worse than you’ve been told to. There’s an endless amount of mistakes you could have made this year that you want to avoid in the new year.
But resolutions aren’t the way to go.
Why Not Make a New Year’s Resolution?
New Year’s Resolutions tend to be very absolute and often time set those that make them up to failure. What about the calendar changing is going to make you change the way you live your life?
During the year when you were making these said ‘mistakes’, there was nothing about the date that mattered you. You did what you did and made the choices you made because of your circumstances. Tomorrow, when the calendar switches over to January 1st, what really is going to change that suddenly you’ll be driven to start living a different life? What other than the numbers that appear when you look at your cell phone’s lock screen is going to be the impetus to do something for the betterment of your life?
If you’ve read some of the aforementioned magazines with their headlines about changing around your life this year, then it is likely that you have read about the failure of New Year’s Resolutions. Gym memberships and attendance spike at the beginning of January and then by March drop down to the levels they generally stay at for the rest of the year.
Why Don’t Resolutions Work?
The answer has a great deal of branches that I could take to try to explain to you why they don’t, but ultimately there is no definite answer. They fail different people for different reasons.
What I do feel comfortable telling you is that you shouldn’t put the fate of something like your health, or whatever you intend on benefitting with a resolution, into some sort of time constrained package. Time constraints and deadlines stress us out. Maybe you’ll start the year following your resolution but for some reason or another, a month or two in you’ll give yourself a reason as to why it’s ok for you to slip back into some old routines.
You’re too busy at work. Family life has way too many things for you to handle than for you to be able to commit to a new routine. Et cetera and et cetera.
So what’s a person that wants a better life this year to do?
Decide to make a change. Follow the general idea of the resolution you were planning on making, but plan it out over the long-haul and don’t do it because of the calendar. Maybe you’ll be busy for the first week or two of this upcoming January. Or maybe after adhering to your resolution for a few weeks you’ll discover your own reason as to why it’s ok for you to drop that New Year’s Resolution from your agenda.
What we all need to do, if there are things we want to change in our life, is to do them directly for ourselves and to not do it for a New Year. Years are just marks on calendars to let us know how many times we’ve spun around the sun. Now what does the amount of times you’ve circled the sun, whilst riding upon the Earth as it follows its’ orbit, have to do with you making and keeping promises to yourself?
Nothing. If you want to change your life this year…then do it. Do what you need to do; if you make mistakes along the way, then don’t worry about it. Resolutions set us up for failure because they force a certain mindset upon us. They tell us that we need to be absolutely committed to fulfilling them.
But, as I’ve said, we are just humans and we make mistakes. Just because you might need to take a break from the plans you’ve made for this year to better yourself, doesn’t mean the game is over. The notion of doing something to change your life shouldn’t be just because the year has changed, because your success has nothing to do with a calendar.
So What Should I Do Instead of a New Year’s Resolution?
So if you do want to make a resolution, then promise yourself that you’ll make the effort to followthrough on the things you want to do in your life that will better it. If you have a few slips into your old way of life, that’s totally fine. You won’t have a specific resolution that you’re trying to adhere to so you won’t have to feel bad about your mistakes or even just bad about yourself in general.
The New Year does come with the promise of the potential for your to change…mostly because it means you’ve made it through this past year and you have a future to look forward to. So as you move towards the future than you want, just go ahead and improve yourself and your life in the way that you want to… and on your schedule, not that of a somewhat arbitralily drawn calendar.
Oh…and Happy New Years!