Who Needs a New Year's Resolution?

Who Needs a New Year's Resolution?

Another year. It’s the time when many people make a New Year’s resolution to improve their health or wellbeing. But do New Year’s resolutions work?

I know. I’m lazy. But I made myself a New Year’s resolution that I would write myself something really special. Which means I have ’til December, right? – Catherine O’Hara

A New Year’s Resolution

The majority of people who set out to change are unlikely to get through the next couple of weeks. Why is this?

Quite simply, New Year’s resolutions rarely work because there is no intention to see them through. It is wishful thinking. In Just imagine… we learn that wishing life is different doesn’t make a difference.


Let me illustrate with two real-life examples.

I admit I am a little overweight. It’s not that I eat or drink too much. Rather, I don’t exercise as often as I would like. So, I resolved to do something about it and started swimming regularly.

And my point is this: the catalyst for change is not the New Year. Instead, it is the recognition to make a change. If  I had thought about being fitter in the autumn and chose to do nothing until the New Year, I intended to defer. To do nothing.


During the past couple of years, I was extremely busy, and wasn't enjoying work. Toward the end of 2020, I realized I needed to do something about it. So, on 31st December 2020 I resolved to quit work and do something entirely different. So, I guess I had a New Year’s resolution after all last year!

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. – Abraham Lincoln

However, I intended to create a new future for me. One where I was in control. A future where I’m responsible for how little or how much work I do.

The difference between a New’s Years resolution and my re-solution is this:

  1. It assumes what I’ve been doing so far is okay. It was part of the solution.
  2. The intent is to find a better solution. An alternative solution.
  3. To help make a better future, I am using my skills and experiences.

Where there is agreement between old and new, success is more likely. Happy New Year!

Do you have a New Year’s resolution? Are you likely to succeed?

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