Military Life

Just Say NO to New Year’s Resolutions

This year my New Year’s Resolution is no resolution.

That’s right, I’m taking back the power people. The thing with resolutions is that they rarely stick. If we’re being real here, we know they’re not going to stick as we’re writing down our lofty goals for the year. I mean, how many resolutions have you made and failed to follow through on? Even worse, it’s almost like you’re expected to fail at your resolutions. We’ve all heard the jokes about the gym being crowded in January with determined “resolutioners” and deflated and empty by February.

This year I say down with the resolutions and here’s why I think you should ditch them too:

Is the time right for change?

Part of why New Year’s resolutions don’t work is it’s a random date to start a change that you may not actually be ready for. You hop on the resolution bandwagon due to societal pressure and the rush of announcing your resolutions on social media, but that doesn’t mean that it’s actually the right time for you to make a change. Rather than arbitrarily pick a date to make a big change in your life, make a plan to make a change at a time in your life when you know you can put in the effort.

Are you really motivated?

How motivated are you really on January 1st to stick to that new resolution? If you were truly motivated to make a change at this time, don’t you think you would have done it already? A random date to make a resolution is not going to be enough to push you to make a change if you’re not truly committed. This again comes back to it being the right time for you to set a resolution. Rather than start your new year on a stressful note with trying to overhaul your life, think about whether you genuinely want to make a change.  If you do, make a plan for how and when the best time to implement that change would be so you’re truly successful.

Lofty Ideas, Low Expectations

Something about the glitz and glamour of a shiny New Year has made me in the past want to set down a lofty list of ways I’m going to do a complete 180 on my life. Maybe I decided I was going to travel to several foreign countries that year or save half of every paycheck, but even as  I wrote out these ideas, I knew I wasn’t going to follow through on them. The truth is most New Year’s resolutions aren’t realistic and that’s almost why we make them. We make them as a fun thing to do with no real plan to follow through on them because no one truly expects us to. How many times has a friend told you their unrealistic New Year’s Resolutions?, (“I’m going to lose 20 pounds by March!”), and you laughed together knowing it probably wouldn’t actually happen? There’s no motivation in setting goals that you’re already expected to fail at.

New Year, Better You

How many times have you heard the phrase “New year, new me?” Well this year I want to know why there needs to be a new me or you? Sure, I think the old me could use some improvements, but for the most part I’m working just fine and you know what they say about “If it ain’t broke..”. Rather than think of the new year as a way to suddenly overhaul who you are, think about the things that you like about yourself and how you can build on those over the year.

So this year I vote you make your resolution no resolution. Instead let’s make this year about adding to what we already like instead of subtracting from the amazing people we already are.

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