Why I Don't Make New Year's Resolutions

Whenever someone asks me what my New Year's Resolutions are, I never quite know what to say. I’m not someone who really believes in making resolutions once a year because:

  1. I might not be ready to make the resolution and I’m only saying it because it’s a ‘new year.’ It isn’t because I’m ready to.
  2. I don’t think resolutions should be an, ‘I’ve stuck to it’ or ‘I haven’t stuck to it’ scenario.

Resolutions only really work if you’re dedicated to what you’re wanting to change. But to be dedicated, you have to put in the work. I’m starting counselling soon which I’m nervous but excited for. It’s taken me years to get to a point where I feel ready to take that step. If someone had forced me to do it before this point, I’m not sure I’d be so willing and open about the idea. The same applies to resolutions.

I want any resolution I make to be genuine. That way, I have the best chance of giving it a go. I’m a believer in you can make changes to your life at any point, not just at the start of a new year. These changes should be because you want them, not because society puts pressure on you to do it. 

I also don’t like it when people ask whether I was successful or stuck to my resolution. What even is ‘successful’? To me, even talking about possibly getting counselling was a success. To others, that may not be. ‘Successful’ means something different to each person. I get the sense that if someone doesn’t follow through with their New Year’s resolution, then they often feel bad or like a failure because they didn’t stick to what they promised themselves. The reality is, situations change. What we promise ourselves in January may not be feasible by February, let alone a year later. It isn’t as simple as ‘I stuck to’ or ‘I didn’t stick to.’ And people shouldn’t be made to feel bad.

I think we should look at the progress we have made rather than the end result of whether we were ‘successful’ or not. The progress we make in life, in our individual situations, is much more reflective and useful to acknowledge.

So, as the new year draws in, I’ll be acknowledging everything I did to make sure I felt mentally and physically okay this year. I’ll acknowledge the not-so-good parts and what I did to help myself get better. And throughout next year, I’ll make choices which lead to dedicated changes in my life.


Voices of Hope wants you to know that you do not have to do this alone. Click here to 'find help' - it's not weak to speak!

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