Why You Shouldn’t Make a New Year’s Resolution
With the holidays fading faster than that pan of mom’s homemade gooey buns, we’re suddenly faced with the impending New Year. Some people greet this symbolic beginning with open arms, ready to take on new challenges and opportunities. Others are a little more tempted to say something along the lines of, “what’s f-in next”, followed by a particularly aggressive eye roll. However you see it, the New Year is coming. And with it, a whole slew of New Year’s resolutions that are about to be made. Endless counts of “This year I’m going to ______” on the tips of our tongues.
Go ahead, fill in your personal blank.
Now here’s the problem we have with the New Year’s resolution. They’re crap. Total, complete, and utter crap. They literally set us up for failure. Resolutions are made with such a sense of finality and confinement, that they lead us straight to self destruction.
Don’t get us wrong. We LOVE self improvement. We think it’s fan-freaking-tastic. Ben and I wholeheartedly believe everyone is capable of ANY change they want to make in their lives. That is one of the most beautiful things about this world we live in. The endless opportunities for better yourself.
Now the problem with a New Year’s resolution is that they are these huge lofty goals that we crave SO badly. Every single one of them is made with the sincere belief that this decision will change our lives for the better. The whole reason we’re making a resolution is because we’re unhappy or unsatisfied with some part of our lives. And we want to change it.
So, we resolve to do it. We make lists, we make promises, we sign up for memberships and plans, and are jazzed as hell. Then, three weeks later, our lives look exactly the same it did before our mile long New Year’s resolution list ever existed. And then, on top of feeling like total sh*t for not being able to follow through, we feel even worse about ourselves than when we started.
Do we think that you shouldn’t do anything then? No. Absolutely not. Because to be quite honest, this symbolic new beginning that January 1st brings in should be taken full advantage of. It might just be a date on the calendar, but apparently it’s got some sort of mystic powers that give most people a total kick in the rear end and gets them motivated to change.
So yes, take advantage of this moment people. Because it’s not going to last forever. In fact, it probably won’t last long at all. BUT, this is the perfect time to take a good hard look at your life and decide, is this what I want? Am I happy? Seriously. Close your eyes and picture what your life would look like if you were HAPPY. If you felt fulfilled and free and sh*t rainbows every 6 seconds (okay, that got slightly out of hand, but you know what we mean).
Now if what you just pictured doesn’t line up with your current life, decide, what needs to change? Then, instead of writing down 26 things you’re ‘going to change’, envision HOW would you get there? What little changes could you make? Is you goal health oriented? Great. Don’t say that you’re going to lose 20 lbs in 6 months. Instead, picture what you’d be doing if you were healthy and fit. What’s missing that you don’t have? Pick a few small tweaks to make, and see where that leads you.
Are you more looking at self-improvement? Being happier? What are you picturing when you see yourself happy? If quitting that soul sucking job you’re at is at the top of the list of things NOT in your picture, then start taking small steps to get yourself somewhere else. It’s not about the final goal, like a resolution would have you think. Instead, it’s about getting yourself there. HOW are you going to do that?
The bottom line is that instead of setting these enormous goals for yourself, envision first what you WANT your life to look like. Then, focus on the small steps that will eventually lead you there. Taking a million baby steps WILL get you to where you want to be.
So this year, instead of making a New Year’s resolution that’ll eventually get left in the dust, resolve to change your own damn life. You don’t need it to be the first day of the year to do that. Nor do you need to put a label on whatever it is that you want to change. Make the decision, and take the steps. It’s not the end game, it’s the journey.
This is your year dreamers.
Make it look exactly the way you want it to.