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Dec 28 2007

What’s Wrong With New Years Resolutions?

New Years Resolutions It has come to that time of the year again!

I heard it on the radio on the way home from work today about how many people set, and break their New Year’s Resolutions.

The timeless classics for the New Years resolution is to lose weight or improve your appearance.

This is normally an automatic next action after a festive season of over indulgence! 8 lbs is the average weight gain in the UK over the festive period, and I can talk first hand of people who love nothing more than to drink and be merry over Christmas and the New Year.

Most of these people will have at some time set a New Year’s resolution. I know that for years I did. Most of the time, the resolutions were pretty much the same every year, and it seemed like the correct thing to do, to let people know that you were going to make an effort in the New Year.

I live and breathe goals, next actions, and projects, yet I have not set a New Years resolution for years! Keep reading to find out why..

I kind of disagree with the idea behind New Years resolutions, and would like to share my thoughts into why I think they are flawed, and how they can be improved.

January the 1st occurs once each year, and this is normally brought with a swollen head from too much alcohol and the first line from Rabbie Burns’ Auld Lang Syne. How many of us have made New Years Resolutions?

Let’s take a snippet from Wikipedia to see what a New Years Resolution is defined as..

A New Year’s Resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous. The name comes from the fact that these commitments normally go into effect on New Year’s Day and remain until the set goal has been achieved, although many resolutions go unachieved and are often broken fairly shortly after they are set.

Hmm, even the Wikipedia entry points out that “many resolutions go unachieved and are often broken fairly shortly after they are set“.

So, what is the problem with New Year resolutions?

Well, I am a goal setter and avid fan of the Getting Things Done methodology from David Allen. As well as this, I subscribe to the good stuff from motivational speakers like Zig Ziglar and Tony Robbins.

I strongly believe in the power of decisions.

When I make a decision, I follow this up by action! Too many of us do not understand the importance of making a decision. A New Years resolution is a perfect example of procrastination, that disease that we all suffer from time to time, and some, a lot more than others.

What we are saying with a New Year resolution is that you want to do something, but you will postpone it a few weeks until New Years day. For example, if your resolution was the timeless classic “I want to lose weight”, you would gorge yourself over the festive period, happy in the knowledge that it is OK as you are going to lose weight in the New Year. If you want to lose weight, make a decision, take action, and lose the weight. Don’t put it off for a few weeks due to some time constraints. Setting out on any major goal planning such as this is destined to fail, and probably why so many do.

I firmly believe in what I call All Year Resolutions, also known as goals.

It is very true that you cannot hit a target that you do not have. However, action must be taken in order to realize your goals. Losing weight is a mammoth task, usually involving a major change in the way your life is run. I still love the losing weigh quote from Billy Connolly, which is to Eat less and move more!

Any major goal in your life is going to need the support of your family and friends. Personally, I think that most people are ridiculed with their New Year resolutions, because virtually nobody keeps them. When you set and break these resolutions, people lose faith in what you are saying and do not offer you the support you need. I can not think of a worse time of the year to announce to the world that you will shed 5 stone, or run a half marathon. Expect to get a tongue in cheek reaction from the people you tell.

In summary, if you want to change your life, don’t wait. Make a decision, and act now. After all, there is no time like the present!

  • 7 Comments... What do you think?
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  1. Ottayan said on December 29th, 2007 at 1:10 am

    “Make a decision, and act now.” The problem is that they have decided to take a decision, thats it.:)

  2. Marina @ Sufficient Thrust said on December 31st, 2007 at 12:37 am

    I’m also a GTD devotee and have recurring goals all year long. However, I think that New Year’s Day is a great reason to kick off a new goal or project — the same as the 1st of a month, or a birthday, or any given Sunday is.

  3. Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker said on January 11th, 2008 at 4:22 am

    I don’t like and don’t do New Year’s Eve Resolutions. They are too much like promises which I was taught as a child that promises always get broken. When I have a goal, I just make up my mind to do it. Goals are not just for the New Year. I liked your article.

  4. A New Year-Ish How-To Guide said on December 29th, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    [...] is a loaded month, full of anticipation and “musts” for many of us. I’ve scoured some of my [...]

  5. Personal Stories of Change Blog Carnival: Edition 13 said on February 23rd, 2009 at 3:35 am

    [...] Mason presents What’s Wrong With New Years Resolutions? posted at Did I Get Things [...]

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  7. [...] What’s Wrong With New Years Resolutions? – DIGTD – Making You … – It has come to that time of the year again! I heard it on the radio on the way home from work today about how many people set, and break their New Year’s Resolutions. The timeless classics for the New Years resolution is to … [...]

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