Opinion: I roll my eyes at most New Year's resolutions

People who guilt themselves into changes on Jan. 1 are often doomed to failure


I’m all for setting goals and striving for self-improvement, but using the end of the year as a symbolic shedding of old behaviours is not the way to achieve new goals successfully.

After hunkering down for the holidays, splurging, gorging and lazing around, many of us resolve to spend less, eat healthier and exercise more when a new year begins.

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Guilted by our holiday remorse, we vow to change our ways “starting in January” in order to justify our indulgences. 

I get wanting to change for the better - especially after the holidays - but there’s something about aligning big goals with the final moments of a closing year that has me rolling my eyes and shaking my head.

So many people make New Year’s resolutions with good intentions, but those resolutions are rarely achieved. In fact, studies have shown that 80% of the people who make New Year’s resolutions fail by February, and a mere 8% of the people who make resolutions actually follow through and achieve those goals by the end of the year.

By setting large, lofty goals, we’re really just setting ourselves up for failure.

Every December, I am inundated with stories from family and friends who share their plans for a fresh start to the new year. They vow to eat healthier, exercise more, save more money, and spend more time with family and friends. And while I try to be as supportive as I can, I’m left to wonder if that person were really invested in improving themselves, would they have waited until the flip of a calendar page to create a plan of action? Would they feel it necessary to proclaim their plans for tomorrow (on the same day as everyone else), instead of just deciding to take those steps towards change today?

In my opinion, most people drop the ball soon after the ball has dropped because they are making blue-sky wishes as opposed to setting specific, attainable goals for themselves.

Working to achieve smaller goals throughout the year would be much easier to accomplish than attempting to complete large bucket-list items or extreme makeovers all in one go.

This year, don’t plan to make big personal changes based only on the changing of the calendar year. Instead, start making small changes today based on specific and actionable goals. Take baby steps, and you just might achieve your New Year’s resolutions for 2020. Hopefully this will be the year that we all get one step closer to the people that we strive to be.

Until then, this mommy is going to try to stay grounded, one day at a time.

Bianca Bujan is a mom of three, and writes about travel, family, and food for various print and online publications. She is also the editor of WestCoast Families magazine. Find her on Twitter @biancabujan and Instagram @bitsofbee. 


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