Why I Hate Making New Year’s Resolutions

By Mary H. Dyer | January 2, 2021
by Mary H. Dyer
January 2, 2021

I gave up making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago, other than my annual resolution not to make resolutions (I always keep that one). For me, resolutions are just begging to be broken, and then I spend a few days feeling bad about myself for my inability to stick with anything. 

I start out all virtuous with good intentions (don’t we all?) and then I’m disappointed in myself. It’s a trap. When I give myself permission to not make resolutions, I feel better, happier, and more positive about the year ahead. 

Has anybody really ever maintained a resolution? I read recently that 35 percent of resolution makers break those lofty resolutions by the end of the month, and only 23 percent succeed in keeping them. That sounds awfully high, doesn’t it? That’s almost one-quarter!

Another source says that less than 10 percent see their resolutions through to completion. That sounds more realistic. I don’t think I’ve known anybody that actually kept a resolution for more than three days. 

I’ve done a lot of good things in my life (as well as some dumb ones), but none of them were linked to any type of New Year’s resolution. In other words, just because I don’t make resolutions doesn’t mean I won’t make any positive changes in the coming year. 

Does January 1st have some type of special power? Instead of resolutions, how about we try to grow a little bit every day. To learn from our mistakes. To be kinder. To practice gratitude. Forgive ourselves for our imperfections. Learn from our mistakes. No rules. No written lists. No big deal. Just try. 

When I was younger, I felt a little guilty about not making resolutions, but I feel fine about it now. The Covid-19 has made everything more difficult, so let’s all be gentle with ourselves. Make resolutions if that works for you. Otherwise, just relax. Things are tough enough.

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