Are Resolutions a Waste of Time?

I just visited Seattle for Christmas and was talking to a friend about New Years resolutions. He said that this year instead of making a bunch of lofty resolutions that he never keeps, he would make small actionable items to do over the course of a month or two, then re-evaluate and make new actionable items going forward. I've been thinking about this ever since and it inspired me to do some research.

Here's some interesting tidbits on New Years Resolutions I found:

  • Almost half (about 45%) of Americans consistently make a resolution for the new year.

  • The most common resolution is to increase exercise (it is estimated that 37% of us want to exercise more!)

  • Unfortunately, about 22% of resolutions fail after only a week, 40% after a month, 50% after 3 months, and 60% after 6 months.

  • Around 38% of people claim to NEVER make a resolution. It may be in part because most people fail and it seems like a big waste of time and energy.

  • Wondering what the number one reason for failed resolutions? Lack of a clear goal.

But then I found this quote by John C. Maxwell which is totally fitting:

"You'll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine."

I love this quote!

So if you have a resolution to "lose weight", a better strategy to achieve that goal would be to make a list of actionable items that you could incorporate into your daily or weekly routine. Start by picking 2 or 3 of them and stick to them. Try to make them positive so they seem fun instead of restricting!

  • get up 30 minutes earlier to meditate or stretch will set a positive mood for the day, you'll begin your day clear headed and not rushed

  • get up an hour earlier 3xs a week to walk around the block or do a morning yoga routine. If you are already telling yourself you won't be able to do that, then maybe add your walk during your lunch break. Try walking at different times of the day and see what works best for you. Moving your body gets your blood flowing, keeps your mind fresh, and your body with thank you any time you can fit it in your schedule.

  • try a different salad for lunch each day of the week

  • try a plant protein for dinner once or twice a week adding greens to your plate at each meal and eat them first

  • set your alarm once or twice a day to remind yourself to drink a full glass of water

  • replace soda pop, juices and other sugary drinks with water and fresh lemon - why soda is terrible for your health try a new recipe each week - my favorite blog to get you started

  • pick real whole fruit over any packaged snack

If your resolution is to "travel more"

  • start by taking mini road trips on the weekends to explore places nearby you've never been to. make a list of restaurants near and far that you'd like to try and put it on your calendar to visit once a month

  • research all the different hiking trails in your area or just outside your area and schedule a hike on your calendar once a month

  • talk about your travel ideas with friends you want to travel with and maybe that will inspire a group trip!

  • sign up for your favorite airline's email list so you will be notified of any discounts or promotions

  • plan to save a reasonable and feasible amount of money each day or week for your travel fund and then do it

If your resolution is to "improve your relationships"

  • start by being thankful for the people in your life, write down 3 things your thankful for each morning or before bed

  • tell one person a day you are thankful for them and why make an effort to smile to at least 3 people every day

  • call an old friend you haven't talked to in ages just to say hi - do this every other week

  • give a friend a compliment on facebook or instagram

  • make an effort to listen before you speak

  • ask more questions

  • when you have the urge to interrupt, don't

If your resolution is to "improve your career or change it"

  • start by realizing that you can't make anyone do things they don't want to do - you only have the power to change YOUR OWN behavior not anyone else's

  • what steps can you take on a daily basis that are aligned with your career goals?

  • be helpful at work be a team player even if you aren't on a team

  • smile

  • if you are wanting to make a change, start researching the steps you need to make that happen and work towards them everyday

If your resolution is to "buy a home or make a move"

  • start by researching areas you want to move to - schedule 15 minutes a day doing online research and use the weekends to visit the area if it's nearby

  • make a list of "needs" and "wants" in your ideal property

  • find a realtor who can help you in your search and provide tips to help you get the most money for your home

  • talk to lender just to get an idea of how much home you can afford, I have great resources if you need them

  • start to declutter your current home by donating things you don't need or use to local charities

Big goals are never achieved by leaps and bounds, but by small steps on a consistent basis.

After a month, you'll feel so good you can add a couple more action items! Keep this up all year long and before you know it you will have made huge changes in your life!

Get ready for your best year yet!!! Cheers to 2019!