It’s that time of the year, again

New year resolution-b31ccafd

“Oh no, I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions.” I’ve heard this statement countless times and anytime I hear it, I wonder why people say so. On some occasions, I’ve gotten to ask why and some of the reasons I gathered were along the lines of “they don’t work” or “it puts pressure on me”. You don’t believe in new year’s resolutions because they don’t work? How are they supposed to work? Are new year’s resolutions some magical list expected to be fulfilled on their own? To me, saying you don’t believe in new year’s resolutions is equal to saying you don’t believe in setting goals, because new year’s resolutions are simply goals that are set at the beginning of every year.

More specifically, a new year resolution is a tradition in which a person resolves to continue good practices, change an undesired trait or behavior, accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their behavior at the beginning of every year.

I believe in new year’s resolutions; I believe in setting goals. I agree however that they may sometimes put pressure on us. But to me, that pressure is positive pressure (if there’s anything as that). New year’s resolutions don’t just happen on their own; there are certain things that may or may not contribute to the success of your new year’s resolutions.

A study on finder revealed in 2018 that, 35% of participants who failed their new year’s resolutions admitted they had unrealistic goals, 33% did not keep track of their progress and 23% forgot about them: about 1 in 10 respondents also claimed they made too many resolutions. Of course, there are other reasons but these are the likely culprits. So maybe, the problem may be our goals and our methods and not with the concept itself.  

By now, everyone knows about SMART goals, but how often do we apply SMART to our mundane goals. Do we only apply it to our professional projects? Now incase you’re wondering what SMART goals are, they are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. I want to lose weight next year is not the same as I want to lose 10kg by the end of November next year. The latter sounds better and is SMART. 

Setting a SMART goal in itself does not guarantee that they will happen; after goals are objectives. I want to lose 10kg by November next year, how many kgs will I have to lose each month? Approximately 1kg. How many times would I have to work out then? Which foods am I reducing or cutting out? Which workout regimen will be best for my schedule and availability. Will a gym subscription be better than home workouts? If I answer these questions well then I can say I’m well on my way to achieving these goals.

In the study I mentioned earlier, 33% of people who failed their resolutions did not track their progress. If you aren’t keeping track of your progress, it will be hard to know what to keep doing and what to stop doing. Keeping track lets you know how close or far you are from achieving you goal. Keeping track also helps you to not forget about your goals because frankly, life happens. There are so many things that may derail you from your path but keeping track will help you stay on track (see what I did there? ha-ha). There are several apps on the internet that help you do document and track your goals. If you love the traditional pen on paper, a notepad, sticky notes or a vision board will help you document and visualize your goals.

The whole point of this (if you haven’t realized already) is that, it takes a lot of hard work to achieve any goal at all. It takes discipline, commitment, sacrifice and more discipline. New year’s resolutions don’t happen on their own, they are achieved by people who are dedicated to bringing it to pass. I must add that life is not a competition and LOTS of things happen. The loss of a loved one, a terrible breakup, a chronic illness, losing your job, relocating etc. are things that may happen and totally change the direction of your life, it is like that sometimes. If you don’t achieve your resolutions by your timeline, by all means reevaluate and relaunch, they were your goals after all, not anyone’s. Strive to achieve them but do not beat yourself up if you’re not able to (unless of course you were just lazy, then by all means, beat yourself up, and add mine too). You don’t need to always set fresh goals by the way, sometimes, continue what is working, with more intensity.

So yeah, let’s give it another shot in 2023, this time with more discipline and strategy. I’m rooting for you! Happy new year in advance and may 2023 be better than the previous years.

P.S: These are just my thoughts. I would love to hear yours. Leave a comment below and let’s talk.


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  1. Great write-up. I love it. To reiterate a part that I love in this piece which reads,”You don’t need to always set fresh goals by the way, sometimes, continue what is working, with more intensity,” I think that sums is at all for me this 2023. Cheers!

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