Why You Should And Shouldn't Make New Year's Resolutions

So first off, I personally like making New Year's resolutions (yes, plural) but over the years I realized that I never really take off with my plans. So every year started with false promises and ended somehow in oblivion. That doesn't necessarily means I'm a bad person, it just means that this concept just didn't work for me, so I opted for a different approach.

Since the end (of the year) is nigh, I think most people will reflect on their lives and will start to make a New Year's resolution for themselves. And here are my comments on why this can be good or bad for you. 

Why You Should Make New Year's Resolutions

1) It's fun - When you think about yourself and others and have that one thing that bugs you, it's so much joy to think about it and make plans on how to tackle it in the new year. It doesn't matter if you want to quit smoking for the 327th time, want to finally use that gym membership or simply want to start a new hobby, it is fun and gets you in a good mood for the year to come.

2) It provides purpose - We'd like to wake up and do something meaningful with our life and making a New Year's resolution helps you with that. The next year will be my year in which I will work very hard to support my local Green Peace group or I'll be extra nice to my neighbours or I'll do the best work I've ever done. All those resolutions provide purpose for your life, it gives you a goal, inspiration and might end up making you a better person.

3) It pressures you to act - When you're doing it "right" you announce it in front of people, family or friends - so called witnesses. Those people will remind you of your resolution and might even help you achieving it. Since we want to avoid public failure it is a forceful strategy to pressure yourself to act.

4) It can give you a sense of achievement - Finally picking up the guitar and learning a few chords and play your favorite song to your friends gives you the feeling of achievement. It boosts your self-confidence, ego and improves your social status. It doesn't always have to be something impossibly hard, sometimes it just serves a a motivator to start something new - that why you should make use of it in the first place.

Why You Shouldn't Make New Year's Resolutions

For this, I do not need to list a few points, I just need to say one thing: "Why wait!?"

As I said in the beginning, New Year's resolutions never worked for me and I don't think my resolutions were unrealistic - the concept just didn't work for me. So, as a learning organism, I tried something differently and it worked out.

The problem for me was always that there was a fixed starting point, and of course you would set a milestone for yourself on when you wanted to achieve it, but even if you announce it publicly, write it down or let your friends remind you, sometimes it just won't work or you fail. While failing is good - because you can learn something about yourself - just not doing it is very bad. 

So, to fix this I just started doing things right away. I thought about what I wanted to change in the coming year and I started it then right away. 

It is just that simple. If you want to stop smoking, use that gym membership or want to pick up a guitar - do it now, after work today but don't wait. The longer you wait, the longer your brain will have time to look for excuses - since most resolutions might be uncomfortable for you.

Starting right away might give you momentum for the rest of the year and for the year to come - you don't need a date to help you achieve your goals, you just do it.

Since I'm a marketer I can't resist a good viral video - so let me end this blog post with a video helping you to push yourself towards the first step with the help of Shia LaBeouf.

Thanks for reading!

Sebastian