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Why New Years Resolutions Don’t Work

We all know 2016 was less than wonderful. That’s being polite, it was mostly the fiery incarnation of hell on earth. It seemed for once it really was no one’s year. Save Trump. But for all the New Year resolutions and well wishes jumping into the beginning of the calendar, where did all that hope go? New Years resolutions don’t work and here’s why. (And what to do instead.)

The Timing Is All Wrong

Right smack bang in the peak season of drunken revelry and endless events. Just whose idea was it to start a whole new practice of living when it means turning down solid options every night? Maybe you’re still in that post 2016 excitement buzz phase or the fever of looking forward to the future has overcome you. No matter what it is, resolutions seek to lull us into a false sense of improvement. It’s not long term change, it’s likely a quick fix.

It Ain’t Healthy

Putting all your focus in one goal to the point of it overcoming every other aspect of your life isn’t healthy. Sure, it’s all about the hustle but is that healthy eating pursuit worth your sanity? Not really. Resolutions tend to neglect the value of balance in favour of tunnel vision.

Lance Picoane of Love Me Love You, a mental health foundation agrees,

“If you are seeking self-improvement, there are plenty of other ways to work on yourself without having the ‘new year, new me’ attitude attached.”

Instead of forcing yourself into an arduous routine of unachievable and hard to maintain practices, make incremental change. It will save you a world of stress and a load of pressure. You’re pretty great already.

Labels Suck

Something about resolution has an all to enforcing tone about it. Resolutions when slapped next to the popular mantra New Year New Me, is a failure waiting to happen. Finder research found 54% of Aussie resolutions are centred on health and fitness goals. But by strapping a resolution on to piggyback with your long term goals, no matter how motivated you are, it’s bound to dwindle.

You evaluate all your past practices as inferior and in the pursuit of clean living forgo mental health concerns. Where the average health professional would preach everything in moderation, it’s more about establishing habits. Aim to attend one BodyPump class a week and before you know it, you’ll be doing a double up class without a single pant.

They’re Too Grand

You’d be surprised just how many resolutions centre around unattainable ideals. Hello the guys that stunt their way to the gym in pursuit of that carved physique and women perennially puff in search of that toned bod. Hands up if your resolution has ever been to achieve an ideal where your interest was piqued on social media. Unless you plan on wearing that VSCO filter all day every day, it’s just beyond your reach.

Focus on personalising your transformation, for lack of a less lofty term. This way that small little change in the way your jeans fit or your second lap around the oval will feel like monumental success worthy of celebration.

You’re Already Great

Yes, you. Resolutions have the ability to lower our self esteem to an all time low. When in reality you’re so much more than your cheeky pack of Tim Tam’s or lack of gym attendance. A resolution if done correctly is a wonderful way to empower a little self improvement. With little being the key word. You likely don’t need to overhaul your whole life, you successful, charming hustler you. Instead it’s about sharpening the edges and finessing your insecurities. Look beyond that new year mantra and instead to bettering yourself in the long run.

Instead, Make Goals And A Long Term Plan

New Year resolutions tend to soften come end of January and by February they’re all but a distant memory. Instead of waiting for the first day of the New Year or the proverbial Monday, why not start now. Sit down and write down your goals for the year ahead, the next five years and beyond. By connecting the dots you’ll be able to ascertain a well travelled path to those goals. Without a fad or resolution in sight.

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