Why New Year’s Resolutions Are Rubbish

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CM Learning Blog | Why New Year's Resolutions Are Rubbish

Ah, New Year's resolutions. Every January, millions of people around the world make promises to themselves about losing weight, getting organised or finally learning that new language.

Then what happens? By February, the large majority of us have let those resolutions lie forgotten, abandoned in the face of reality.

So, if you’ve ever asked yourself: ‘Should I have a New Year’s resolution?’ let’s dive into why they might not be all they’re cracked up to be.

Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room: setting unrealistic goals. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new year and declare that this will be the year you completely overhaul your life. Yet the truth is, change takes time, effort and patience. Instead of setting yourself up for failure with lofty resolutions, why not break your goals down into smaller, more manageable steps? For example, rather than vowing to run a marathon by the end of the year, start by committing to run a few times a week and gradually increase your mileage, mile by mile.

Another reason why New Year’s resolutions often fall flat is because they lack specificity. Saying you want to “get in shape” or “save money” is all well and good, but without a clear plan of action, it’s easy to lose motivation. SMART goals have been around for a long time because they work: make it specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. So, instead of saying you want to “get in shape,” set a (smaller, more manageable) goal to go to the gym three times a week for at least 30 minutes each time.

CM Learning Blog | Why New Years Resolutions are Rubbish

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New Year’s resolutions can sometimes be motivated by societal pressure rather than genuine desire for change. Just because everyone else is jumping on the resolution bandwagon doesn’t mean you have to. Instead of making a resolution just for the sake of it when you’re only going to be disappointed when you abandon it, take some time to reflect on what truly matters to you and what you want to achieve in the coming year.

Let’s not forget about the all-or-nothing mentality that often accompanies New Year’s resolutions. Many people fall into the trap of thinking that if they slip up once, they’ve failed completely. The truth is, progress is rarely linear. There will be setbacks along the way, and that’s okay. You know the old adage ‘practice makes perfect’? No! Try ‘practice makes progress’ instead. Rather than throwing in the towel at the first sign of trouble, use your slip-ups as an opportunity to learn and grow. Remember, it’s not about being perfect, it’s about making progress. 

Finally, perhaps the biggest reason why New Year’s resolutions are rubbish is because they often focus on fixing perceived flaws rather than embracing who you are. Instead of viewing yourself as a project to be constantly improved upon, why not celebrate your strengths and accomplishments? You are already enough just as you are. You are ‘flawsome’!

So, should you have a New Year’s resolution? Well, that’s ultimately up to you. If setting resolutions works for you and helps you to achieve your goals, then by all means, go for it. On the other hand, if you find yourself caught in the cycle of making resolutions year after year only to kick them to the curb shortly after, maybe it’s time to try a different approach.

Instead of making grand declarations on January 1st, why not make a commitment to continuous learning and growth throughout the year? Set goals that are meaningful to you, create a plan of action and be kind to yourself along the way. After all, the most important thing is not where you end up, but the journey you take to get there. So here’s to a year of progress, growth, and self-discovery, whether you start at the beginning of the year or not.

If you still need a little persuading on why New Year’s Resolutions are rubbish, take a look at the short video below!

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