Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? Should you?
New Year’s Resolutions are a big topic each year. They are discussed heavily as soon as Christmas is over and for the first week or two in January.
How often are they talked about in July? Have you ever had a discussion about how you are doing on your New Year’s Resolution mid-year?
I have read that 95% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions do not stick to it after 3 weeks.
Why is this? What is so wrong about New Year’s Resolutions? OK…there is nothing wrong about this annual tradition. I just don’t believe they are the best way to accomplish your goals.
January 1st is set as the date that you will change your life. You decide as of 1/1 you will:
- Exercise 4 times per week
- Eat less sugar
- Read to your children daily
- Volunteer once every two weeks
- Visit your mother once per week
- Read a daily devotion
- Eat out less
- Save $100 per week
- Schedule a weekly date night with your spouse
- Lose 4 pounds per mouth
- Read 50 books this year
- Learn French
Pick 5 of the above and let me know how you are doing in July. How is this attainable?
Here are my 4 reasons why New Year’s Resolutions are not the best way to accomplish your goals.
There is nothing magical about January 1. I would like you to throw the date of January 1 out the window. I do think it’s smart to step back and reevaluate. Do take the time to think of your goals. You are allowed a fresh start, a new beginning…but there is nothing special about January 1. Why?
What if you have just two simple goals as of January 1. For example: I want to run three times per week and save $50 per week. If by the end of January, you have run three times all month and you have saved nothing since the first week, you are done. This leads me to reason #2.
You failed. You get one shot. Because you couldn’t even make it one month, you have now failed. (How is that for a confidence booster?) Obviously you are not a failure…but such an emphasis is put on January 1st that it seems so. It’s easy to get down on yourself because you didn’t succeed. You didn’t even last one month. It’s easy to now just forget it all.
You fail? You now have a free pass until next January 1. You can now set this into the back of your brain and don’t have to think of your New Year’s Resolutions until when? Yes, January 1 next year. You no longer have the push to reevaluate.
So many resolutions equals a cluttered mind. How can you wrap your head around 5 resolutions that first week of January? If you have to focus on eating clean, working out, saving money, volunteering AND learning French all during that first week, how will you succeed? If you have multiple goals that do not come easy for you, what is the likelihood that you will be able to accomplish them all at once?
What do I suggest?
Goal setting or changing your habits doesn’t need to be an annual thing. Creating a broad goal or theme for the year may be beneficial, but it needs to be broken down into smaller timeframes. Quarterly, monthly, weekly…it depends on the goal you want to set or the habit you want to create.
Part II: How to Set Goals using Short Challenges and Mini Goals.
Originally published 12/28/14. Updated 1/1/20.
I love the idea of breaking your goals down into smaller chunks. That is so much more doable!
Yes, it’s so much more doable!
Andrea Mitchael (Mitchael Journey) says
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! Those statistics are pretty pathetic, aren’t they?! It is so interesting, because growing up, my dad always made New Years resolutions, and always kept them — so I thought everyone else did too! I would take them seriously — for example — one year I did no soda, no doughnuts, and no chips all year! 2 years in a row I did the bible-in-a-year reading plan. I saw New Years resolutions as something you kept :) On my blog, I’ve been setting monthly goals — and doing a link-up on the 1st week of each month and mid-month to check-in on the progress! I think smaller goals are much more manageable — and even still can be hard to attain! I blog over at http://mitchaeljourney.com I would love for you to share your post on our next My Monthly Goals link up — New Year’s Edition which goes live on Wednesday (31st) New Year’s Eve!
You had a rare, but great example of New Year’s Resolutions success! I will plan on sharing. Thanks for the invite!
I love your opinion of New Years! You are exactly right…one chance to change and there is ABSOLUTELY nothing magical about Jan. 1st. Thanks for sharing!
(I saw your page on the weekly linkup at a Fresh Start on a Budget and had to check you out from hugsntugsmomreviews.com…glad I did) Great Blog!
Thank you!! I’m happy you stopped by.
Leah Adams says
Popped in from #RaRaLinkUp. I’ve never been much of one to do New Year’s resolutions, so your post rings very true for me. I believe life change must come from within…a heart that desires change and trusts the Lord to bring it about…AND sustain it. Enjoyed your post! Grace and peace.
Yes, trusting in the Lord as we make our goals is important. We cannot do it without HIM!
Karen Brown says
Great advice! There is so much truth here, and I saw myself in much of your message. Thanks for this healthy and realistic perspective.
You are welcome. Thanks for reading!
Kelly Balarie says
Thank you for your encouraging and practical ways on how we can change. You really get us thinking about what we can do differently. Thank you for this!
I’m so happy you found encouragement! I find much encouragement from your posts also :) Thanks for reading!
Renee Griffin says
“There is nothing magical about January 1st.” AMEN! That line can stand alone. Thanks for a great post.
Some food for thought. Featured you at Sunday Features! Thanks for linking up there.
Thank you so much for the feature!!
Great post, I like monthly goals better too. Thanks for linking up with Motivational Monday