Oh, the excitement of the new year. A time for champagne, confetti, and — of course — a lengthy list of New Year's resolutions that you'll probably never actually stick to... which is exactly one of the many reasons why I don't make resolutions in the first place. Pardon me for sounding like a total pessimist — I never want to shoot down or discourage opportunities for personal growth and development. But, admittedly, I've never been one to come up with these cliché resolutions in hopes of bettering myself in the new year. It's not that I have anything against those people who choose to set resolutions, it's just not something I've ever done for myself.
If I'm being perfectly honest, I think it's a completely overhyped and irrelevant tradition. In fact, research shows that 40 percent of Americans make resolutions, but only approximately eight percent achieve those new year goals. Not a super impressive statistic, right?
Hey, maybe you're a total outlier who always manages to uphold those objectives and ambitions. More power to you! If it works for you, go ahead and continue doing that. But, for the rest of us who repeatedly feel guilty or lazy for not generating a laundry list of resolutions each time this year rolls around? Well, I'd like to make you feel a little bit better about that choice. So, here are four reasons why you can skip the New Year's resolutions altogether this year. Whether you think I'm a moron or you actually want to heed my advice, at the very least it's food for thought.
1. It's too limiting
Like I mentioned before, I'm all for identifying methods for personal growth and improvement. But, I don't really see the purpose in restricting that to one specific point in the year. I want the flexibility to continue to evolve and change throughout the year — not commit myself to one goal that might or might not be what I expected.
Plus, you don't need me to tell you that a year is a pretty long time to maintain a new habit. And, that's probably why so many resolutions only last a few weeks at most. So, instead of setting yearly resolutions, I focus on goal-setting throughout the year. I set smaller goals to work towards each week, and larger ambitions for the entire month. This keeps me focused on working towards the things that I want to accomplish, without making me feel guilty for not being able to be flawless for an entire year.
2. It's overhyped
Resolutions have become a cliché tradition of the holiday — sort of like having turkey on Thanksgiving, or putting up a tree for Christmas. So, I think that they've transformed into something that a lot of people do simply because they feel like they should. People no longer set resolutions in the hopes of accomplishing something that's important to them. Instead, they do it to fulfill an expected standard of the holiday. Setting half-assed goals that you haven't given a lot of thought to and are barely passionate about? Well, it's not exactly a recipe for success.
3. It's a bad time of year
Am I the only one who thinks that the start of the new year is a ridiculously bad time to be thinking about self development? By the time New Year's Eve rolls around, I'm still in a food coma from all those holiday cookies. And, the only thing I really feel like doing is napping in my sweatpants in front of the TV. I'm not exactly in the mindset to identify all of the things I want to do better next year.
4. It can start things off on the wrong foot
I'm all for improvement, but I'm also all for taking time to celebrate your wins. And, if you jump right into the new year by laying out all of the things you still want to improve, you don't take adequate time to evaluate all of the things you did well the year before. Focusing on your wins — and not just your deficits — is just the motivation you need in order to head into the new year with the right attitude.
So, I'll take my time and determine the areas I want to improve once I stop accidentally writing down the incorrect year. Good things take time.
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