This article was originally published in Brainz Magazine on December 16, 2022
We are deep into the holiday season. This time of year may fill you with excitement, and it may make you nauseous. It’s possible you feel a combination of the two.
There are so many expectations attached to this season and the start of a new year. Expectations from family, the media, and the vomit of merchandise everywhere you turn – can be overwhelming. Then add our own expectations that this new year will be different. That we will finally reach our goals. We will eat healthier, ditch that toxic workplace, be nicer, and drink less alcohol.
There is no way to make it over the new year threshold without the pressure to set new year’s resolutions.
In theory, new year’s resolutions are not a bad thing. They are a goal-setting process intended to help you make changes in the new year. In practice, they are evil demons sent to make you feel crappy about yourself. If there is one goal you should set this year, it is to stop setting new year’s resolutions.
Here are 3 reasons why you should stop setting new year’s resolutions and start making 2023 your best year yet.
Reason 1: Failure Sucks
The data is clear. “Research shows that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the beginning of February,” reports Forbes Magazine. Can we all agree that failure feels awful?
No matter how many articles tell you that failure is good for you, that you should fail fast and jump right back up – it’s not that easy. Yes, you learn from failure. But there is a compounding negative effect from setting goals and repeatedly failing to achieve them. Why set yourself up for that failure?
There are too many factors working against your goal-setting during the holidays. So stop setting those new year’s resolutions and skip the feeling of failure that comes with them.
Reason 2: Do it now, not later
The best way to make sure you achieve your goals is to not wait for the new year to start working toward them. If you wait, you will most likely become one of the many who abandon their goals within the first month of the year.
If you really want to achieve your short-term or long-term goals – NOW is the time to do it. There is no better time than now to learn new skills, make more money, or kick a bad habit. And if not now, when?
Postponing your goals for a ‘better’ time or the ‘right’ time only gives you permission to not do the work to actually achieve your goal. It slows down any momentum and makes it harder to ramp back up when you are finally ready to work toward that goal. Don’t wait, dump the new year’s resolutions and start working on what you want to change now.
Reason 3: Actions are more important than Goals.
We may set a goal to reduce stress, learn a new language, or read more books. But if we keep hanging out with people who stress us out, never download Duolingo, or don’t make time to read – we won’t reach our goals. Our actions determine our success.
Goal setting is important. It helps us focus on the present state that isn’t serving us, and plan for a better future. Done well it includes measurable goals, and a plan to accomplish them. But a plan without action is just a piece of paper. As best-selling author and habit master James Clear says, planning is good but it doesn’t “…produce a result. Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will deliver an outcome.”
So your new year’s resolutions themselves won’t deliver you results. It’s the actions you take, with or without the resolution, that will.
Time to make 2023 your Best Year Yet.
Now that you ditched your new year’s resolutions because failure sucks, waiting to start your goals doesn’t work, and goals without action are useless – it is time to make 2023 your best year yet!
Any change you are trying to make requires you to understand where you are, imagine where you want to be, and take action to close the gap between the two. This process includes reflection, vision, and action.
Download my free workbook to start developing your 2023 action plan now!