Why You Should Skip the New Year’s Resolutions This Year

Why should you skip the New Year’s Resolutions this year?

They didn’t work last year…did they?

Every year people make New Year’s Resolutions.  Here are some of the more common ones:

* Exercise More

* Save Money

* Stop Smoking

* Lose Weight

I’m sure there are many more.

For example, let’s say your New Year’s Resolution is to get more exercise.  So, you sign up for a membership at the local gym.  You’re pumped; this is going to be the year you finally get in shape. On January 2nd you head down to the gym after work.  All of the regulars are staring at you because they know you are a newbie. The regulars don’t like the newbie’s taking up all of the machines. No problem, you start exercising away.  Then you commit to going at least three times a week. You do this for two weeks.  The following week something comes up and you’re down to going twice a week. Other things pop up and before you know it by St. Patrick’s Day the gym is a quaint memory.


Pick a Better Time of Year to Set Your Goals

Don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Pick another time of year to set up your goals.  For example, pick your birthday.  Unless of course it falls on or near New Year’s. Then, check in with your goals every quarter to evaluate your progress.  This will give you a framework for how you are progressing.


Skip the Discipline – Change Your Habits

It appears that so much of the New Year’s Resolution is all about ‘discipline.’ If you just have enough discipline, you will be able to (fill in the blank). If you just work hard enough and have the right attitude, you can do it. Perhaps this is true for some. But not very many.  Certainly a good attitude always helps.  It just usually is not enough. A better approach would be to change your habits.

If you want to get more exercise, you don’t need a gym membership and have to hire a personal trainer.  Start by getting yourself a decent pair of sneakers and start walking.  That’s it. But the really important part is to JUST START. And keep on going.  Start with the bar low. So low you could trip over it. It’s much easier to build on.  For an excellent book to read about this pick up One Small Step Can Change Your Life by Robert Maurer.


ACTION ITEM: The only New Year’s Resolution to make this year is to not make any New Year’s Resolutions. Set some realistic goals and work on your habits to help you get there.

Will you skip the New Year’s Resolutions this year?

Please leave your comments below.


Photo From Creative Commons

Tom Scanlon has over thirty years experience in public accounting with an extensive background in the areas of financial, tax, and estate planning. He prides himself on providing in-depth and customized solutions to privately held businesses and their owners. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Financial Planner®. Tom is a frequent speaker for area organizations and has  recently been quoted on CNBC, Fox 61 News and AARP's blog. Tom also has been a guest columnist for numerous publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Money Magazine, The Hartford Courant, The Hartford Business Journal, and The New Haven Register. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Financial Planning Association. Active in the community, Tom supports a variety of not-for-profit organizations.

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