New Year’s Resolutions Checkup

February 19, 2009

in Productivity

Fifty days in, and I think it’s time for a check on how the New Year’s resolutions are going.

I’m not generally a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions.  I tend to make at least one anyway just so I’ve got something to say when someone asks “So, what are your New Year’s resolutions?”  (Does that make me a people pleaser?)  I could close my eyes and throw a dart at a list of most popular resolutions to come up with one, for all the thought and effort I put into it.  You know, the usual:

  • Lose Weight
  • Reduce Debt
  • Save Money
  • Get Fit
  • Eat Better
  • Reduce Stress

Why Do We Make New Year’s Resolutions?

Some people see the new year as a chance to start afresh.  January 1 marks a new beginning.  Throw away all the baggage and failure of years gone past.  This year’s going to be different.

Many people are also like me: well, everyone’s doing it…I’d better come up with something!


Image by The Journeyer via Flickr

Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Usually Work

For all the fuss about New Year’s resolutions, I think most of us would agree they just don’t work; hence my lack of enthusiasm in formulating them.

Lack of thought

The vast majority of people might give a passing thought to their resolutions a few days before the new year commences.  Other than that, it’s easy just to pick a fairly inspecific goal like one of those above without much thought or effort at all.

Lack of planning

“A goal without a plan is a dream”

I don’t know whose quote that is, but it’s very true.  New Year’s resolutions are most certainly goals.  Without specific thought about how much, how often, where and when even the best intentioned are doomed to fail.  It’s like driving around without signs or a map.  You’ll end up somewhere, but probably not where you intended.

Lack of enthusiasm

Without a “map” for guidance, many people become discouraged or even bored with their apparent lack of success.  Before too long the New Year’s resolution is forgotten and old habits creep back in.

What I’m Trying This Year

Something prompted me to start thinking about my New Year’s resolutions in around October last year.  After mulling over what I really wanted to achieve this year I had a bit of an epiphany.

Why wait till the new year to start?  Why not start now?

So I did.

I did make the mistake of being a bit vague with my resolution, so now is the time to sit down and think it out properly.  I guess the point I want to make is that there is no perfect time to make a change.  Don’t wait till Monday.  Don’t wait till next pay day.  Don’t wait till next year.  Do it now.

How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along?

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