This is typically the time of year when coaches pipe up about new year resolutions; how to make them and how they can help. I, on the other hand, tend to think January 1st is probably the worst day to set a goal! Apparently over a third of resolutions don’t make it past January. I am surprised that two thirds do!
Here are my four reasons for believing new year resolutions are ridiculous!
- The business of resolutions
Remember the business of new year resolutions is exactly that, a business. Magazines and the media are hot on telling you how to lose weight or give something up. The fitness and diet industry are ploughing their marketing budgets into selling you DVDs, gym membership or slimming classes. It’s hard to not get carried away with the tide of promotions ,but if you are not careful you have shelled out for something you won’t see through.
- It’s hard enough
Unrealistic resolutions set because you feel you should are destined not to work. You need to really believe, if you don’t believe in the change you want to make then forget it. Forget it, or postpone it until you are ready to put in the time, planning and effort. New year resolutions are laden with additional pressure you could do without. Instead, quietly and considerately plan for change without the ‘new year, new you’ tag.
- Wishing on a gimmick
Perhaps it is a game we like to play to start our year on a high with good intentions? I am not convinced that we take them seriously. We kind of know they are a bit ridiculous. We’d hope they would come true, but like a wish we know it takes more than hoping and the likelihood of success is slimmer than our waistline! Really there are no magical secrets. If you want to clear your credit card bill or find a better paid job wishing and will power is not enough. You know this to be true this year, just like you knew it to be true last year!
4. Reactionary response
I will concede that January is a good time of year for a hit of motivation. Trouble is, that our resolutions are often major goals which are a direct reaction to our December lifestyle. You over ate in December so now want to lose half your body weight in January. You drank or smoked more heavily and now want to quit completely. You blew the budget over Christmas and now plan to live a life of austerity. The trouble is that to achieve significant change motivation can’t derive from a reaction to a previous month! If it is not fully thought through and backed by true commitment and belief then the motivation quickly reduces and you are left with a meaningless quest.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big believer that we can all make significant, long-lasting change in our lives. I know that as I see it in the people I coach. There is no reason why January can’t be the perfect time for you to achieve meaningful success. All I would say is, don’t set out on a new year’s resolution which you really want to happen, but you are pursuing because it is January 1st. Far be it for me to point out that there are 364 equally good decision making days that make up a year!