To New Year’s Resolutions or to Not? That is the Question (5 Reasons I do not)

The new year is upon us, and we’re all faced with the pressure of deciding what our New Year’s resolutions is going to be. And, you’ll need to have a good answer because you know that people are going to ask! Plus, not having a clear path to the new year that shows thought, insight and rugged determination can leave us feeling like we missed out.

I am all for making these resolutions if that’s your jam, however, I stopped doing this over a decade ago. Below are 5 reasons I choose not to make New Year’s resolutions and what I do instead!

1- It’s hard to stick with. I understand the concept and can appreciate the meaning behind giving ourselves something to focus on for the coming year. It can be motivational, inspirational and get us to the gym too. But, if you stop or shift your mindset during the year, it can also lead to feeling like a failure. I did not achieve my resolution. I only lasted 4 months. I aimed too high.

All this may be true, but life is tough enough. Getting up and facing the world is challenge enough. Add kids, a job, taking care of aging parents, bills and it seems to me that adding the stress of living up to a huge New Year’s commitment might be asking a lot. But, if that’s where you are this year, then go for it!

2- How to choose just one is a giant pain in the butt. Eat less, eat more. Swear less, read more. Care more, care less. Exercise, walk, pilates, yoga, run, weights. Cook more at home, spend less money dining out. Write that book, reach out to more friends, make more friends. Be nicer, learn to say no. Save more, spend less…The list is exhausting! And, remember, you can only pick one!

3- The pressure of having to answer what your resolution is and then watching the person’s face for approval became lame to me. It’s as if we’re being judged own on the strength of our very personal resolution. Like the food we order with friends, or the steak we order that is “not the temperature” that our fellow diners would order. Next, it’s critiquing our musical tastes or the toppings we like on our pizza. New Year’s resolutions are very personal, difficult to uphold for 365 days and easy to break ‘cause we don’t get a “time-out” if we say we’re finished.

4- Perhaps I could have AI generate a phenomenal resolution for me. After all, AI is the storehouse of a lot of stuff and when combined, I’m confident that it could spit out some juicy words that would put other’s rezzies to shame. Hmm, that’s kind of cheating, so I am going to stick with my plan because it works well. Usually.

5- Ten years ago, I dropped the resolution nonsense and came up with my own take. Instead of the classic and popular resolution I would define my year with one word or phrase That’s it. One word or phrase would encapsulate the meaning of my next trip around the sun. The word usually comes to me quickly, but sometimes I ponder for a few days. Then, I’m set. I have my word. I’m good to go! Plus, no big resolution to possibly trip me up during the year. Just one word.

However, there are years that I forget my word. Oh, I remembered it, but it gets lost somewhere between March and September. I’m okay with that because I tried and that counts in my book. So, whatever you choose to do, be nice to yourself and remember it takes a lot to get out of bed and face the world every day. You deserve bonus points every day for just doing that!