New Year, New You – right? Believe it or not, I’m not a massive fan of this mindset. Here’s why I believe New Year’s resolutions don’t work and what you can do instead.
How many times have you said, “My diet/workout routine/meditation practice starts on January 1st,” only to find yourself completely off-track come February? Chances are, it’s happened to you at least a few times.
Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.
For the most part, New Year’s resolutions fail
According to a study, Business Insider reported that 80% of all resolutions set fail by February.
Isn’t that statistic staggering?
That means that only 20% – one in five of individuals – of those who set a resolution for the new year will actually be successful in following through.
Another study shows that only 39% of people in their 20s succeed with following through on their resolutions. That means more than half of us won’t create a lasting, life-altering change.
Why resolutions don’t work
With the holidays comes the idea of setting resolutions. These commitments look different from person to person, but, for the most part, are centered around this idea of creating drastic changes.
In the weeks leading up until our “deadline” of January 1st, we often find ourselves over indulging or not properly caring for ourselves in the name of “my diet/workout routine/whatever-it-is starts in the New Year.”
The reality of the situation is that we’re creating a lot more work for ourselves when it comes to making lasting, life-changing changes. Maybe it’s the idea of having a hard deadline that makes some feel more accountable, but I’m a believer that change has to be slow and gradual to really stick.
Also, when/if you fall off track with your new resolutions, it’s easy to feel like a failure and give up altogether. Instead, it’s more sustainable to commit to making a change regardless of the time of year and gradually incorporate it into your life.
A new way of approaching resolutions
Instead of making strict resolutions, I invite you to create intentions around your year.
These intentions will be helpful when it comes to deciding how you’d like your year to look and feel, where you want to put your time and energy, and, most importantly, what will bring you the most joy.
Some example intentions include:
Learn to say No with love.
Dedicate more time to my passions.
Choose kindness and joy over stress.
If intentions are not your thing, try picking one or two words that sum up how you’d like to feel. These words can be constant reminders of the energy you’d like to bring into the new year. You can write your words in places you’ll see them and continue to channel the spirit of them for days to come.
Another great idea is to create a vision board of your goals, dreams and wishes for the upcoming year. This practice will allow you to get in touch with how you want your year to look and give you a chance to visualize each moment. There’s something so powerful about creating a vision board because it allows you to truly see what’s to come.
If you need a little more support, I’m a huge fan of The Desire Map by Danielle LePorte. This workbook will guide you through the steps to create the year you’re truly craving.
Above all, no matter which path you choose, make sure to give yourself the time to really connect with what you desire from the upcoming year. Ask yourself these questions:
- What are your passions?
- What brings you joy?
- What do you want more of in life?
- What are you ready to leave behind?