Are New Year’s Resolutions Bad?

Angela Moore
Angela Moore

| 4 min read

New Year’s resolutions have become a tradition for many people around the world. However, there is a growing debate on whether they are actually beneficial or if they set us up for failure. While some argue that setting goals at the start of the year can be motivating and help us strive for self-improvement, others believe that New Year’s resolutions are inherently flawed and can lead to disappointment and frustration.
Do you typically create New Year’s resolutions? Are creating New Year’s resolutions a tradition in your family? Do you think that New Year’s resolutions are good or bad?
Let’s first define resolution. Oxford Language defines resolution as a “firm decision to do or not to do something.”
I think resolutions are typically unsuccessful because people make the firm and easy decision to do or not do something but fail to think about the actions that must follow the decision.
The easy part is making a decision, the hard part is taking action after a decision has been made.
Take for instance, the decision to lose weight and start exercising. Following Halloween trick-or-treat with the kids, Thanksgiving dinner with family and Christmas office parties with co-workers, many people make the firm decision or New Year’s resolution to lose weight and start exercising. We all know that losing weight is a lot harder than gaining weight; gaining weight is easy. 
And if you have never successfully lost weight or found it difficult to maintain a healthy body weight, knowing how to lose those unwanted pounds may be easier said than done.
-What type of eating plan should you follow? Plant-based, vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, paleo, flexitarian, etc. What would be a healthy food consumption pattern for you?
-What type of workout program should you do? High Intensity Interval Training, Strength Training, Low Intensity Cardio, Balance Training, etc. How often do you need to exercise and for how long?

So how you do set yourself up for success?

Once you make a decision to do or not do something, you must create time and space to think about what actions you need to take, both short and long term, to accomplish the very thing that you made the decision to do or not do. Essentially, you are creating a goal and thinking about the objectives that are necessary to achieve that goal.
Resolutions are what you intend to do. Goals are what you have committed to do. 
Goals are better because they force you to take into consideration the objectives or actions that must take place once a decision has been made. I also believe that goals are taken more seriously than resolutions. New Year’s resolutions are made in the new year and are often associated with only that time of year. Whereas goals can be set in the new year in January, February, March, July, August and throughout the year, and going forward.
Instead of relying solely on New Year’s resolutions, we should focus on setting meaningful goals and making incremental changes throughout the year. By breaking down goals into smaller milestones and celebrating achievement along the way, we can cultivate a sense of progress and maintain motivation over time.
Instead of creating resolutions, set meaningful goals and then focus your attention on action steps to achieve those goals.

How do you create successful goals?

I think we all have heard the phrase, SMART goals. SMART goals stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Your goal needs to be clearly defined, something that allows you to measure your progress along the way, something that you can realistically achieve in a specific amount of time and something that is important to you.
I will start you off with a great goal for the new year! To be the best and healthiest version of yourself each and every day.
This is a great goal because it means that each and every day you can make a commitment to be a better and healthier version of yourself, set and achieve smaller actionable goals throughout the day for specific times and then measure your progress at the end of each day. And of course, being a better and healthier version of yourself is or should be important to you.
If the approaching new year has started you thinking about areas of improvement, let any decision be a decision that you are willing and able to commit to. The decision to be a better and healthier version of yourself is one decision that I can say with certainty that you never regret making. It is never too late or too early to strive to be the best version of yourself.
If the new year is what you need to get you started for significant change in your life, let’s go for it!Just don’t quit once you start!
Opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or its subsidiaries and affiliates.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Angela Moore

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