6 reasons to stop making resolutions
Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I make new habits.
I know better than to set myself up for failure by expecting something monumental to change in just a few weeks. I used to feel so disappointed in myself when the January 1st frenzy had passed and I didn’t lose any weight, save any money or become a morning person.
With that being said, feel strongly that resolutions don’t work.
They put too much pressure on you to make a big change right away instead of working on changing your habits.
So, I’ve made a conscious decision this year to give up setting resolutions and focus on creating new habits that will help me be successful in all areas of my life.
6 reasons to stop making resolutions
It’s obviously not a new idea – resolutions have been around since ancient Greece – but I think we can do better than resolutions. Here are 6 reasons to stop making resolutions and what I do to succeed without them (and you can too!):
1. Resolutions are too big.
As resolutions get more and more ambitious, we run the risk of becoming overwhelmed.
We make resolutions for weight loss, to be better about our finances, to use our manners more, spend less time on social media, and basically to do everything differently!
I understand that resolutions can also be about things we want (like “I resolve to read 30 books this year” or “I will make my bed every day before 8 am”), but they can also be about things we want to stop (like “I resolve to eat junk food only once a week” or “I resolve not to argue with my partner.”)
However, if you have a tendency to take on too much and you can’t do it perfectly, the resolutions feel unattainable and you become discouraged.
2. Resolutions are too vague.
If resolutions are about things we want to stop (like “I resolve to eat junk food only once a week”), these are too vague.
The resolutions don’t hold us accountable because they aren’t specific enough to be measurable (time to break out the SMART goal chart LOL).
I’m not going to say “I resolve to eat junk food only once a week,” but I might say that I will stop buying chips at the grocery store.
But, if you’re a recovering emotional, binge eater like me, those self-talk tactics may spark an old neural network of restrictive, deprivation patterns. Then, you’ve already set yourself up to fail.
3. Resolutions don’t build habits we can sustain.
I love resolutions that a fueled with an intention of building a new habit (like “I resolve to read 30 books this year”).
However, if the resolutions are too focused on the outcome without taking into account the “inner game” of the process, they will fall flat.
If you intensely focus on hitting a specific goal in a specific time frame, it can instill panic for some. It may trigger a reminder that you aren’t good enough or don’t have what it takes. That’s the point when my clients feel bad about themselves and ditch their resolutions.
Also, resolutions can have us switch gears too fast. They don’t give us enough time to learn new behavior patterns to become part of our everyday life. Can you get a sense of why people give up by February?
The intense and overwhelming pressure to achieve unrealistic and unattainable goals is why people give up. It’s more beneficial to take small steps each week over 6 weeks to allow for your body to catch up with your mind.
4. Resolutions can make you feel bad about yourself.
When resolutions fail, we become discouraged and make it mean something bad about ourselves. If you start to feel like a failure, you give up on your resolutions completely instead of using them as a tool for learning about what makes you tick.
You will be more empowered by taking the time to reflect on what hasn’t worked for you in the past and create a list of habits that you WANT to add to your daily routines.
As I tell my clients, “never should” yourself into action because it evokes negativity and punishment instead of positivity and excitement.
5. Resolutions can’t take into account how our lives change.
A resolution isn’t flexible. They are tied to just one moment in time (New Year’s Day). Resolutions aren’t phased out or phased in with changes that happen throughout the year.
Resolutions aren’t flexible enough to take into account the possible external or internal challenges that come up.
You make resolutions for weight loss, but you go on vacation and come home 10 pounds heavier. Or you make resolutions that are tied to your job but you get laid off. Perhaps, your resolutions are tied to your relationship but you break up with that person this month.
Sounds pretty unmotivating to me!
6. We will fail at keeping resolutions because they are usually set from a negative emotional state
A resolution isn’t helpful if it’s set under negative, fearful, or limited feeling states; like swearing, you’ll drop 20lbs by February. Or, if you see your credit card statements and resolve to never buy anything online again.
You will surely feel punished by that harsh meanie talking inside your head. So, then your precious unconscious mind will do what it can to make you feel good fast, and you’ll be clicking “Add to cart” in no time.
Basically, resolutions don’t work if you resolve to tackle something you dread instead of something that brings you joy.
“I know resolutions are popular and resolutions work for some people, but resolutions don’t work for me.”
Take the pressure off of yourself by committing to make life-long healthy habits that you love.
If you’re looking for something different this year, allow me to offer some thoughts as your guide and thinking partner in creating new habits that can get you closer to living a life that you love.
I’ll be by your side for 6 weeks to walk you through it all.
We’ll work on your mindset, emotions, beliefs, self-care, stress management, creating healthy habits, health and fitness, and more.
Follow my link to learn more and get started today.
Or, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask me anything about how I help someone through this process.
Your mental, physical and emotional wellness advocate,