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Why I'm Not setting a new year's resolution

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

It would appear everyone loves the idea of a new year’s resolution but this year I’m officially breaking up with the troublesome tradition and here’s why.

"I believe we don't need to add new year's resolutions to the list of things we have to do”

*2020 Update* Two years have gone by and I am still leaving the tradition behind. I fully belief in self-improvement and challenging oneself but I still don’t think that a new year’s resolution is the way to go about it.

This past week, and for the next coming week, the hot topic is new year’s resolutions.

Whether you are scrolling through Instagram, reading a newspaper or simply doing a quick supermarket shop you will most likely find yourself being fed the idea that we need to improve ourselves this new year. But isn’t life tricky enough? Don’t we already have enough pressures in our lives? Do we really need to set more goals for ourselves, that let’s face it we rarely manage to sustain beyond late spring? Aren’t we actually just setting ourselves up to fail and therefore feel worse about ourselves? In the current times of faster, better and bigger, do we seriously need to achieve more, when quite frankly most of us are exhausted from the recent years of faster, better, bigger and more?

Well, in my opinion no. I believe we don’t need to add new year’s resolutions to the list of things we have to do.

I’ve never really set resolutions at new year and distinctly remember when my brother came home telling us his friend at school was setting a resolution not to set a resolution that year. Kudos to whoever that friend was, I believe they were ahead of the times! Despite not having resolutions as a part of my new year rituals, this year I have been bombarded with how I should make myself better for this coming year. *2020 Update* This bombardment has happened again in 2020. And after the derailment of so many grand plans I had this year, I’d say I’m good enough as I am for getting through the year with my sanity, I don’t need to be ‘better’. And the same goes for you, we’ve had a challenging enough year in 2020. Have we not stepped up enough without adding a new year’s resolution to add some more stress?

Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with a well-set intention or a dream put into action through goals, however, we don’t need to add extraneous pressure to our already hectic lives. 2018 saw the arrival of the self-care movement and so shouldn’t we be continuing that through to 2019 by relieving the stress of resolutions. There is nothing damaging itself in a resolution if it is truly something that you want to do. If you truly want to set intentions and goals, then go ahead, but perhaps think about changing it from ‘exercising more’ to ‘only going to exercise classes I enjoy’. Potentially something a little vaguer resonates with you, for example ‘doing things for me’, or ‘taking time to breathe’. These are simple things when you think about it, but how much nicer is that than daunting resolutions which bring you nothing but misery. Another option is to just decide you might set an intention later in the year should something arise you feel compelled to do. *2020 Update* I have been using my own advice the past two years and just setting goals whenever I choose, and I have to admit I think it is so freeing but it has also shown to be pretty productive too, even the vaguer goals!

If you’ve already got your resolutions set and they make you feel excited and genuinely happy, even if they are crazy and challenging then go for it, you’ve got this! But if your resolutions are strict and harsh, and really you’d rather doing anything else instead of doing them, then maybe it is time to re-evaluate our culture of annual self-improvement and ditch the new year resolutions.

Whether you set a resolution or not, what really matters is doing what is right for you and your life at this very moment.

Happy New Year!


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