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5 reasons new year's resolutions don't work

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   Making new year's resolutions is a very popular tradition. The arrival of a new year is all about starting over. A new year, a new life. But few people actually stick to their resolutions. Most return to their old ways pretty soon.

    I don't think new year's resolutions are a good idea and I don't make them. And back when I did make them, the resolutions I made were never the goals I actually achieved. It actually seemed to me to be the worst time of the year to make goals. So I decided to write a list of the reasons I don't make new year's resolutions -  my 5 reasons not to make new year's resolutions:


1. Too much pressure.

 Expecting yourself to change your ways overnight is unrealistic, stress-inducing and simply not the best way to start a new year.

2. Everybody's doing it.   
  
 Setting goals on the same date as everyone else and watching other people forget about theirs will influence you also. Furthermore, having everybody else also make their resolutions at the same time will make yours seem less personal to you. Setting goals works when you think of them as YOUR personal goals without drawing parallels to others.  
  
3. Past experiences will discourage you.   
  
 You probably have made resolutions and not kept them before. Subconsciously, you will remember this. It will make it more difficult for you to stick to your resolutions this time.    
   
4. Decreases future motivation.   
  
 Not sticking to your resolutions will make for a lousy beginning of the year, as well as discourage and demotivate you. 
  
5. Unrealistic.   
  
 When you set goals in unusual conditions - in this case during the holidays, you probably won't take into consideration the actual eveyday life you will be returning to. The resolutions you make will be too unrealistic.   

What is your experience with new year's resolutions ? Feel free to comment!

Photo from  http://www.flickr.com/photos/lel4nd/

8 comments:

beyondtourism said...

While I did make resolutions this year they were small and writing related. But I always thought it would be good to make resolutions on your birthday since I see it as a personal New Year. It also takes away from the everyone else is making resolutions at the same time. Except perhaps if you are born on New Year's.

Gemma Catlen said...

Hello beyondtourism :) Birthday resolutions sounds better than new years to me :)
I am convinced, though, that the best way to make goals is to commit to something right away, when you first have the idea instead of waiting for some event. No matter when you get the idea, that is when you should commit to something. Some small step, that you can take right away to get started, even when you aren't sure you have the time or energy to commit to the full goal just yet. But that will get you started and then everything will go much easier.
Thank you for the comment :)

L said...

I find that I achieve my goals when I start making steps to get there, the first step is always hard, and reminding yourself that change is hard makes it easier in the end when the going gets tough - so yeah, I totally agree that new years resolutions are a crock! :)

Gemma Catlen said...

L, it is so true that the very first step will be the toughest :) Once it's over with, everything will go much more smoothly. So delaying the first step can't be a good idea.
Thank you for commenting :)

Courtney said...

Gemma, I completely agree that too often people make resolutions because "everybody's doing it". This also applies to how people pick their resolutions. A very popular resolution is to "lose weight" but if this isn't something you are particularly invested in, you are going to fail. And as you stated, past failure will set a bad pattern for the future. Great article! :)

Gemma Catlen said...

Hi Courtney :) Yes, if one has any chance at succeeding at a goal, the passion has to be there. Losing weight, when done right and in a healthy way, takes a lot of dedication - making big changes to a lifestyle you're used to is tough. It's not something to take casually.
I'm glad you liked the article and thank you for commenting :)

Marie said...

A fan of new resolutions till now........I think resolutions are not the same when you start the year and when you progress into the year. Much better to take action when you feel it's the right time.

And more to let you know, I have a blog award for you over at mine...........

Clare Actman said...

Always best to make resolutions when you really want to otherwise it's just too much pressure like you said.
Good idea to write about this.

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