New Year’s Resolutions Resolved!

new years resolution

It gets to this time of year, when I start to think that I should be thinking about important stuff. One year is drawing to a close, and the next is looming bright and shiny on the horizon. And so it seems fitting to think erudite thoughts, make great plans, and re-appraise my life.

I know I’m not alone in this seasonal philosophising – every magazine, TV show and dinner conversation is filled with new year’s resolutions. There are step by step guides to resolving your issues, quizzes which tell you that you drink too much and should give it up next year, and if you happen to be standing in the wrong spot at the bus stop, you may even get the full-on autobiography of a crazy person who really should have made some resolutions and stuck to them. That ought to make you think.

In theory, analysing one’s life and making new year’s resolutions is not a bad idea. Once a year seems reasonable, but doing it while you’re drunk, hung over or have had a blazing row with your mum is perhaps not the best time. For many of us, the ‘holiday season’ is anything but, so making rash decisions may be best delayed until the status quo is restored, and all the relatives have packed up and gone.

Making resolutions because it’s the resolution time of the year is something to avoid. Doing it because you feel you ought to, or because someone else feels you should is a recipe for failure. The success of a resolution depends to a large extent on the desire to commit to that resolution, to see it through, and to achieve the aim. Without those factors, no resolution can possibly last much longer than than the Christmas leftovers. You may as well save yourself the trouble of struggling through the first few days with the burden of your resolution, and wait until you are inspired to change. As soon as the inspiration strikes, seize it, even if it doesn’t arrive until June.

If there is something you’d like to change, then good on you for recognising it. It takes a lot for us human beings to recognise our deficiencies, and even more to resolve to tackle them. It might have taken you years to arrive at this point, but if it’s something important to you, now may well be the best time for you to succeed.

Be kind to yourself, and don’t aim too high, too soon. Have a goal in mind, but take baby steps to achieving it. Set yourself smaller, more reachable targets, and celebrate each one as you tick them off. And please don’t lose heart if you have a hick-up along the way – look back at what you have achieved and feel proud, then plan to pick up where you left off the next day or week.

Determine to change only the things that you can change, because you can’t make others change the things they are not yet ready to deal with. Even if they really do need to! This is your resolution, not you husband’s, and whilst you may wish or need to enlist the help of others to reach your goal, don’t be surprised if you meet with apathy or even resistance to your new approach to life. Try to stay on track, and surround yourself with those who are encouraging and make you feel good about your decision.

For most of us, making resolutions is the easy bit, and keeping them is the challenge. But perhaps we’re just not making the right resolutions. Because they’re a little harder to come by. They require a large dose of introspection, a realistic aim, and having the guts to say “bring it on!” After that, keeping them shouldn’t be too difficult at all. Good luck!

What is your view on creating New Year resolutions? Have you tried, succeeded, planning too? 

Linking up with Essentially Jess


Abi runs Juggle Family and Parenting Consultancy, a counselling and support service for busy parents. Being a mum of four, Abi knows exactly how tough it can be to juggle all the things that busy mums and dads do. You can read more about Abi here

{photo credit: Today is a good day via photopin cc}

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  • Ai Sakura

    Great tips! I try to write one actually, especially for blogging just to give me some direction for the year. It helps for sure!

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  • Lauren @ createbakemake

    Wonderful advice! Over the past few weeks, I have been thinking about what some of my goals for the new year will be. I’ve decided to write them down and stick them to our fridge as a daily reminder & rather than waiting until January 1, I’m starting them now.

  • Jodi Gibson

    Great advice Abi. I don’t do resolutions but rather goals and a ‘word’ for the year. It works for me. It gives me direction and focus and hope for the year ahead.

  • Lucy @ Bake Play Smile

    I made my new years resolutions a few months late this year so I think this time around I’m going to go a bit easier on myself and not get too wrapped up in resolution making!! xxx

  • Grace

    I used to be very big on New Year’s resolutions. Now I’m more about projects and thinking about how I want to feel in the new year. For me, thinking that way is a lot more realistic rather than thinking of what I need to improve about myself.

  • Sonia@ LIfe Love and Hiccups

    I have goals because i suck really badly at resolutions lol. i like to give myself milestones I want to reach instead. xx