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3 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions are B.S.

The end of a calendar year often marks a time of radical intentions of change and self-improvement for the following year. We call them New Year’s Resolutions and it has become a tradition to make sweeping declarations about how we’re going to make big changes and achieve grand things in the new year. More often than not, these resolutions focus on weight-loss, dietary changes, or health improvements.

So why do I have such a problem with them?

On the surface, they seem like noble intentions with the desire to take care of one’s self and improve one’s life.

Fair enough. But intention is different from impact.

Let me explain why the impact of New Year’s resolutions are futile (and possibly even harmful):

1. There’s nothing magical about January 1st

Other than the fact that writing down dates is slightly trickier for the next few weeks, there’s really nothing extra special about January 1st. The sun went down and the sun came up, just like every other day.

If you want to start making different choices or work towards a goal, why wait for an arbitrary date?

What to do instead:

Start making those changes or work towards that goal whenever is right for you. It doesn’t have to be a new calendar year. Whether it’s March 7th or July 29th or November 14th, who cares? If you have a desire to embark on a new journey, do it whenever the heck the circumstance works for you.

2. Resolutions can set you up for failure

Resolutions usually take the form of sweeping declarations. Maybe it is reaching that “goal body weight” or landing that dream job. They involve trying to change everything about how you eat, how much you move, when you wake up, or how you spend your time.

And let’s be real…there is almost no advantage to this all-or-nothing mentality. All it does is make you miserable for a few weeks before you decide to call it quits altogether and then try again next year. But why?

What to do instead:

Focus on small, specific actions that you can take and build sustainable habits upon, rather than on vague outcomes that are not directly within your control.

For example, rather than saying, “I’m going to lose 30 pounds next year!”, try “I’m going to have fruits and vegetables with at least 2-3 meals/snacks daily.”

See, the first “resolution” is not completely within your control…despite what diet culture may have you believe, there are so many factors that contribute to a person’s set point weight and not all of these factors are within your control. So it’s kinda silly to make that your goal isn’t it? But eating more veggies daily…that’s something that is within your control.

Here's a little handy-dandy acronym to help you draft your next SMART goal:

S – specific M – measurable A – attainable R – realistic T – time-bound

3. They can cause unnecessary stress

Trying to overhaul your entire life can cause undue stress that makes the resolution all the less appealing to stick to. Again, it’s important to focus on small, realistic steps that you can take and then slowly build on them as time progresses.

It might seem like you’re going slow (and the social media comparison game certainly doesn’t help here), but we’ve all heard The Tortoise and the Hare story. There’s a reason why it’s a classic children’s story all over the world.

What to do instead:

Give yourself grace. Be patient. As cliché as it may sound, life is indeed a journey. You don’t need to get it right or perfect the first time. Start slow and give yourself the time to learn, make mistakes, and grow.


Stay nourished my friends,


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