Making New Year’s Resolutions simply sets us up to fail

So, here we are just over a week into 2020…and I am wondering if you made any New Year’s Resolutions, and if you did, have you broken them yet?

I have been reflecting on why I have come to dislike the whole concept of New Years Resolutions so much. After all, I used to make the same ones every year. Each January 1st, year in and year out, I would vow to myself that I was going to be more organised/eat more healthily/ take more exercise/ make more time for self care. And every year, by the second week of the New Year, I would feel frustrated and inadequate because I had broken all of them…which meant that I had ‘failed.’

Why, then, do we do keep doing it?

I understand that New Year’s Eve is psychologically a good point to wipe the slate clean and figuratively ‘start again’ in those areas of our life that we are not happy with (see my examples from above!)


For me, one of the problems is that Janu

ary 1st feels like such an arbitrary starting point for making any kind of significant change. Yet, it has become such an accepted tradition, that we can feel that we ‘have’ to take part in it, even though we might not really be in the right emotional place to make any kind of change.

I also wonder if one of the reasons that New Year’s Resolutions so often fail is because the expectations of change are imposed from outside of us? They might some from friends, family, spouses, work colleagues, bosses…but they do not really come from inside us at all. Perhaps then, we ‘fail’ because we do not really want to make those changes, at least not at that point in time.

So, how about next year putting aside all of the “ I musts” and “I shoulds”, (which can feel so shaming when we fail to live up to them) and instead accept that we have the power to make changes to our lives, at any moment, on any given day, at any point throughout the year?

Try to take a few moments each day to pause, take a breath, and make it a habit to start listening to your inner voice. Only then can you begin to figure out what it is that you really want to change in your life.