Why do we make New Year resolutions?

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New Year. New resolutions and a new chance to ‘start again’. From religious origins, when Babylonians made promises to their Gods to return borrowed objects, to the Romans who began each year by making promises to the god of new beginnings, Janus, after whom the month of January is named, over 50% of today’s population now make some form of New Year Resolutions, with 2018 being the year that saw more people than ever pledge to save, or make money as their No.1 resolution.

Why do we make New Year resolutions?

It’s so full of hope isn’t it, yet realistically, why do we wait for this pressurized time of year to make the changes we know we need to make? Surely a change you want to make should be something you want to do now? And so for me, I think the real reason most New Year resolutions don’t last the course of January is because we tend to see them as things that we should do, rather than things we want to do.

Do New Year resolutions make sense?

Why else would we wait for a particular date to make a change? Everything around us makes the choices for us about what society tells us we should be working on. It might be weight loss, it might be to stop smoking, or it might be to make financial changes. Whatever is it, the stats are stacked against us being successful if we choose to undertake these changes as New Year resolutions.

Making the decision to change

Once we make the decision to change, in my case deciding that I want to get our mortgage paid off, I get super excited about it, I always do with a new goal, although I don’t have loads and loads of them as that really dilutes their importance to me.

I love getting stuck into the planning and the small details of making it happen. Forming the new habits (see blog post here) is great, and very needed to make a new plan work. You may as well make it enjoyable, and it can be fun!

Setting a challenging goal

A challenging goal means working out how exactly how it’s going to happen.

I need to make the plan challenging whilst realistic, and somewhere between realistic and challenging I came up with our 4 year plan, as something that I feel we can achieve if we work super hard at it.

Starting this on the 1st of whenever wouldn’t have helped this, and could very possibly have undermined the importance of this to me, as if it’s not important enough to start now, is it that important at all?

All I know is that a goal worth having is a goal worth starting now. Perhaps the best New Year resolution would be to stop waiting to take action, starting now.

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