Do Resolutions Matter?

January 2, 2018

 

Are there good reasons to make New Year's resolutions? Seems like a lot of people focus on this during this time of the year and they all want to tell you about how they do or don't work:

  • Seriously. They just don't work.

  • People don't stick to them.

  • You’ll fail if you take on too many resolutions at once.

  • Making them on New Year's is totally pointless because goals can be made anytime, and

  • They’re no longer cool because everyone's making them.

I'll confess to have said some of the previous in years past. This anti-resolution sentiment means that practically every wellness publication and influencer on the planet will encourage us to make "anti-resolutions," remind us that resolutions are "a waste," recommend we "just commit to small changes," or instruct us about "how to deal with annoying January gym and nutrition band wagon jumpers." They'll post funny memes about how everyone has already given up by January 2nd.

 

But this overly righteous, better than everyone approach makes me pause.

Sorry if you've already got it figured out, there are only a handful of "perfect humans", but I have observed many actively struggling to improve and working to get better.

Instead of practicing judgment, ow about we take the mindset of encouraging those people who want to work towards change, help them to succeed, and make it more likely they’ll actually stick to their resolutions(choices). There's no time like the start of a new calendar year to embark on a big change.

Here's why we should embrace New Year's resolutions instead of fighting them:

 

1. Resolutions really can work. 
Most New Year's resolutions will be abandoned, it’s true. But some won’t, and can even change your life.

Don’t believe me? Here are two of mine:

 

In 2010, I resolved to make a career change. I believed I was stuck in a job that was unsatisfying. BUt in 2010 I resolved to become a health & wellness professional and have not looked back since. Yes, It was extremely scary and stressful to put myself on the line and change everything, but today I am sooo happy that I was able to challenge myself and see it through.

 

In 2014, I finally took control of my personal finances. I had mostly been ignoring them since starting Sweat Nation, and I kept putting off getting in control of them. It took a near-failure (and some brutal self-discovery) to figure out why I was avoiding it. After finding the radical personal finance podcast  Joshua Sheats practical look at finances helped me to take charge, and I haven't looked back since. In fact, I spoke with Joshua about this important experience.

And I'm not the only one who actually follows through on New Year’s resolutions.

Fellow entrepreneur Meli Blundell of the South Beach Erotic Museum decided to stop drinking to get a position at the museum. That decision has taught her much about what she wants in her life.

My friend Virginia decided to become a small business coach a few New Years’ ago and has been playing growing her practice ever since. Turns out, she’s etremely passionate about helping businesses achieve more efficiency.

New Year's resolutions can work. Maybe yours will too.

 

 2. Taking on too much might be the only way to find changes that really stick.
 

Maybe overcommitting isn’t such a bad thing.

No, you don't need to become an entirely different person to succeed at your New Year’s resolutions. Ultimately, you just want to find a few good habits to stick with so you can be healthier/happier long-term. I get it.

But how do you discover those habits? How do you fall in love with something new that's good for you too?

Well, it's hard! We’re all busy at work and already know what we love doing with our friends. When are we supposed to find time to step back and try something totally different? I think one way (maybe the only way) is to overdo it for a bit. Approach New Year's as an opportunity to commit 100 percent to something you're a little uncomfortable with and unaccustomed to:

  • Decide you want to try that interesting nutritional protocol that has improved someone you knows health markers. 

  • Choose to go focus on your finances every single day  to find the patterns that arent serving you.

  • Try every type of meditation because research is discovering that it’s life-changing.

Not for a whole year, maybe—but let’s say for just the month of January. You may not stay a raw vegan, run an ultra-marathon, or become a Buddhist monk, but you’ll almost certainly become aware of meals you enjoy that feature less bad choices, find a running playlist that gets you out of bed, or discover you’re a better partner after just a few minutes of mindfulness.

To discover and commit to these "mini resolutions," you have to first try and discard lots that aren't right for you—and that's OK. By going all in to start, you might just end up with a few healthy habits that work their way into your life for good.

 

3. Working with others to accomplish your resolution together can be crucial  to success.
 

Sure, New Year's resolutions are popular. Sometimes it feels like everyone wants to lose weight next year. But don't let the fact that most people want to lose weight hold you back from actually losing weight. Embrace the popularity of the resolution instead—January is a great time to find others who want to do the same thing you do.

Secretly thinking about committing to a Dry January? You won't be the only one. Whole30? Half your friends are probably thinking of trying it out too. In January especially, it's socially acceptable to make a change and announce it to the world, so embrace it and join with others to work hard and stick with something.

Support is often critical to a resolution’s success… and (plug alert!) that’s one of the primary reasons Sweat Nation is here. Reach out as we want to be a part of your community. A community which can help you accomplish your health goals with other people who are trying to do the exact same thing you are.

Everyone doing resolutions just means it’s easier to find people to do them with!

 

 4. The end of one year and the start of another can be a monumental time.
 

Every new year we confront our mortality. And so does everyone else. We’re all getting older together.

OK, that got a little morbid.

But it’s true—we don’t really treat our birthdays as a chance to turn over a new leaf. Instead, we usually celebrate them by going HAM on some ice cream cake. New Year’s, on the other hand, is different—we’ve done our indulging over Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and Boxing Day (we don’t even celebrate Boxing Day but had sticky toffee pudding in honor of it anyway). The gingerbread and eggnog and pumpkin pie and all that goodness are done with. There's basically nothing super social and big to commemorate again until freakin' Valentines day in February.

Anyway, all this positions New Year’s as a rare, remarkable time when we can choose to reflect on the year that’s gone by and then push forward, start from scratch, and reinvent ourselves. Every chance to step back and potentially commit to making a change is a great one—let’s not discard the opportunity just because it’s been done before.

Conclusion: New Year's is awesome.

And New Year’s resolutions—big, fat, scary, ambitious ones—aren’t pointless. They can work, and you may just end up sticking to them (or, more likely, a piece of them) forever. They’re an opportunity to find social support, pressure, and accountability from friends like never before. And there’s no better time to start than after the champagne’s been popped and you’re looking ahead at a long (and potentially life-changing) January.

 

Track Of The Day - Wolves - Selena Gomez(AMA's)

 

  

 

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