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Why New Years Resolutions Don't Work

Posted by Jenn Kuehn on December 22, 2021

The New Year is almost here - it’s that time of year when many set out to create new resolutions. Resolutions to lose weight, cut out sugar, exercise more, read every day, and the list goes on and on! I recently heard on the radio that 44% of Americans set a New Year’s resolution. That is an impressive amount of people considering. . . they don’t work! And that is the reality my friends, resolutions really don’t work.

Now change is important. Change is a catalyst for growth. I applaud anyone seeking to make healthy changes. However, why wait for January 1st to activate change? Consider this, every morning when you wake up, you are starting a new day with new possibilities. Waiting for January 1st means the rest of the year we are procrastinating. Why not take advantage of the opportunity that comes with every new day?

We put so much pressure on ourselves to take on a resolution and when we don’t see a tangible result in 30 days, we wallow in our perceived failure. 30 days is not a lot of time to successfully fulfill a resolution, especially when we are all pulled in so many directions. What if you shifted your perspective - instead of a resolution that begs instant gratification, set a goal and create new habits for 2022?!

One of the biggest resolutions I hear is the famous “I want to get in shape”. First things first, high 5 for having the desire to get in shape! Setting a goal, means we see there is an area in our life that needs enhancement. Success starts with the idea that we want to get better and improve.

It’s important to define what success looks like. For example, what does “get in shape” mean to YOU? Everyone’s definition of "in shape" is different. For some it might be running a 5k, others it might be losing a specific number of pounds, or it might be lowering cholesterol levels. Regardless of your goal, this year, let’s be SMART about it! By smart, I mean take simple, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely steps.

True and lasting success takes time and commitment.

Commitment is the relentless desire to take meaningful action towards your goals. Your behaviors are your actions. Your actions are your habits. Instead of rushing toward a result, you can see in 30 days, think about the satisfaction you will feel knowing you have established healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

I come from a Belgian culture where enjoying bread and cheese after dinner was a way of life. We would have dinner, followed by a salad, and would finish our delicious meal with a French baguette and an assortment of delightful cheeses. Since I was a young child that was my norm. And to this day I love a chaucterie. However, a few years back I came to realize my habit of enjoying crusty French bread with Brie cheese was not helping me attain my goals. So I got smart. I now replace my bread course with a “go for a walk” course! Do I still enjoy bread and cheese, YES! But it’s enjoyed on occasion. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely habits. 😊

As you look ahead to 2022, identify the habits that aren’t serving you in a positive way and replace those habits with different behaviors that will help drive you towards the results you want! Change isn’t easy; it takes consistency.  Success isn’t easy; it takes stamina. We can’t order these achievements from Amazon, but we can make sure all of our actions, behaviors, and habits are leading toward our passion to make positive changes. So this year instead of a New Year’s Resolution here is to daily Revolution to live our best lives in 2022!