Why you shouldn't make New Year's Resolutions

I know. The title of this post is strange. Am I *actually* saying that you shouldn't set resolutions for the new year?

Yup. That's exactly what I'm saying and here's why.

When is the last time you actually stuck to a resolution you set? I'll wait a sec......

See what I mean? It's not worth the stress and anxiety it causes.

Now, does this mean you shouldn't have goals? Of course not. In fact, having goals are way better than resolutions.
A few years ago, I first wrote about why I don't set resolutions, but goals instead. The system was simple - i picked a goal a month to work on, then broke those goals down further and went from there.

Did I stick to them all? Of course not. Did I do better than when I set resolutions? Immensely.

Creating resolutions implies something you create at the beginning of the year, then promptly forget about (at least that's what I always did). How does this help?


Resolutions are made to be broken. Setting SMART goals with an action plan sets you up for success. So, set some yearly goals, then break it down to monthly, etc.

Here's some articles to back this theory up:
Don't Make Resolutions - Set Goals Instead from Get Rich Slowly

Reject Resolutions and Set Real Goals Instead from Grit & Glimmer

Here's some tips to help you set your own yearly goals:

Think About Your Life Goals by Zen Habits (and if you haven't read this site, do it. Now. It's fantastic.)

Really Simple Goal Setting by Zen Habits

Resolution Makeover by Zen Habits

Consider things you want to work on for the next year. For example, I can divide my goals into the following categories:

  • Parenting
  • Health
  • Writing
  • Mental Health

Within each of these, I have certain things I want to work on. Once the individual tasks are set, I can then put them on my Google Calendar and then they are in front of me daily.

So, here's the question. Whether you do resolutions or goals, what are some of yours in 2011? As always, leave them in the comments!

Who's that Spartan doing tai chi? It's me! It's me!



Author of Domestically Challenged

Domestically Challenged: The Blog

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