Why You Shouldn't Make New Year's Resolutions
Let’s be honest. New Year's resolutions rarely work – and here's why.
Each year, we’re filled with a sense of hope that maybe this year, we’ll finally stick to that list of resolutions we made … but we rarely do.
We tell ourselves that the new year is the time to make life changes. “New year, new me,” right? It seems that on January 1, everyone is so eager to get to the gym or start a new diet, but how many of those people are still going to the gym in March? Not many.
The problem most likely isn’t you. We often want to blame our inability to stick to resolutions on a lack of motivation. “If I could just find some motivation, I could make it happen,” we think. But I am here to tell you to STOP BLAMING MOTIVATION. I can almost guarantee it’s not the issue.
Have you ever considered that the problem may simply be with the resolutions themselves? Typically, when people make resolutions, they create a list of very broad ideas. You hear people say things like “I want to eat healthier this year,” or “I want to start exercising this year,” but you rarely hear an actual plan.
That’s why you should stop making resolutions — and start making goals. So what's the difference between the two? Instead of having a broad, unfocused idea without a plan, focus on making attainable goals for yourself. Then, write them down to monitor your progress.
Instead of saying, “I’m going to exercise more this year,” say, “I’m going to start this year by visiting the gym twice a week.” There are several benefits to this type of goal making. Not only are you able to pinpoint an exact measurement for how to achieve your goals, but specifying your goals helps you with accountability. If your goal is to work out twice a week, you’re going to know whether or not you went to the gym at least two times.
Another benefit to setting specific goals? Once you’ve achieved your goal, you can make a new one. Maybe increase your gym visits to four times a week after a while. Adjust your goals as you reach them, and you can keep challenging yourself past your original goals. Before you know it, you’ll probably reach the result that your “resolution” would have been aiming for. But now, you have a roadmap for guidance.
The intentions are still the same, and that shouldn’t change. The desire to improve yourself and make changes in the new year is awesome. However, if you actually want the change to happen, set yourself up for success by creating a specific path to get there. I promise you’ll thank yourself for it next year.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Lydia P.