Why New Years Resolutions Suck

The first cloud-related picture of the new year.

2021 is here, and I couldn’t be happier. I know that the problems of 2020 aren’t going to disappear now that the new year has begun, but I think it’ll be a much better year than 2020 ever was. We can only go up!

I’ve never been a huge fan of New Years Resolutions. To me, they’re a lot to live up to. I have a hard time keeping track of my day-to-day anyway (thanks, ADHD), so making big goals for the year sounds daunting and impossible. If you’re a fan of resolutions but you’re feeling unmotivated to make any, let me tell you why I think New Years Resolutions should be skipped this year.

Too Much Pressure

Making goals for yourself is always a good thing, don’t get me wrong. Making goals for the whole year sounds a little daunting when you don’t know how the year will unfold, however. 2020 showed all of us that plans can be completely derailed, utterly destroyed, and thrown into the dumpster fire of life.

It’s alright if you feel the pressure of making a yearly goal (or two, or three). Even in normal circumstances, it’s intimidating to set your year up with goals and accomplishments you want to tick off of your list. This year, the pressure is overwhelming for people that make yearly resolutions.

Announcements Hold You Accountable

It’s popular to make your New Years Resolutions public to hold yourself accountable to completing them by December 31st. Almost everyone on my social media feeds are doing just that! I think it’s great to publicize your goals. I don’t think it’s great to publicize them and then stress over getting those goals completed.

When you make your resolutions public, there is a slight fear that creeps up as everyday passes. Will you lose that weight? Will you make that amount of money? Will you get to travel? Will you get to have the experiences you want this year? It’s all up in the air. Holding yourself accountable could lead to stress, and stress is always counter-productive.

Don’t Complete Your Resolutions? Time to Suffer

I am the best example I can think of when it comes to Resolution Failure-Based Regret. Every year, I would write out exactly what I wanted to accomplish before the next year’s dawn. Every December, I’d look back at that list and feel the immense regret and failure that comes with not completing your resolutions. One year, I decided that resolutions weren’t for me. They gave me too much stress, made me feel too negative about myself and my accomplishments. It was probably the best decision I’ve made for myself!

Feeling the failure of an incomplete list is heightened when it’s part of your New Years Resolutions, I believe. We hold resolutions in such high regard that when we are unable to accomplish them before time is up, it feels like you’ve done nothing with the 365 days you’ve been given. That immense feeling of failure is SO not healthy.

What to do Instead

2021 is a year of unknowing. We have no idea what challenges await us this year! 2020 got turned upside down three months in. Will something like that happen again? Or will life go back to “normal” before we know it? There’s no way to be sure.

This year, I’m dismissing the idea of New Years Resolutions. I haven’t made one in years, but 2021 is just another reason for me not to sit down and make that goal list. We just don’t know what’s going to happen! If you feel discouraged when it comes to making your own resolutions, may I suggest just going with the flow of the year? Planning ahead is usually a good thing, but 2020 was the prime example of “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”. In 2021, I feel like we should embrace that notion and try to live every day in the moment.

The spontaneity of life is what makes life great. Obviously, a pandemic is a very tragic example of that notion. As negative as living through a pandemic is, we have to be able to find the silver linings in every day to make life a little more bearable. I think we all have gotten pretty good about that! Why stop now?

Writing down yearly goals, while I turn my nose at it, is actually a good thing…if you have the drive and the ability to make those goals happen. You also have to be strong enough to bounce back if those goals are not met. If you reject the idea of ignoring the tradition of resolutions, go for it! I suggest if you’re making your resolutions despite the uncertainty of the year ahead, try going easy on the resolutions for your benefit. It’s much easier to accomplish one big goal than, say, five big goals.

It’s important to remember that 2021 is a year that we’ve never known, even more so than usual. Go easy on yourself if you don’t fulfill your resolutions (if you make them). Your mental, physical, and emotional health should always be first. That’s why I never make resolutions in the first place…too much stress makes for a Mean Mary! And no one wants that! So if you’re like me, you’ll skip the resolution making and wait until we have a more stable year ahead of us…Well, if you’re like me, you’ll skip resolutions every year for the rest of time. Especially after the wild year we just left.

Remember that 2021 is a new start! Whether or not you promise yourself anything, remember that nothing is set in stone, and that life will take you to where you need to be, whether you know it or not. Let’s go with the flow this year and see what happens.

Hello everyone! I’m serious about not making NYR’s for years. I can’t even remember the last time I promised myself anything for the new year. My life has improved dramatically ever since I made that realization. Hopefully this post helps you figure out if you want to go ahead and write those resolutions or not! Either way, you’ve got my support!

If you’re interested, follow me on Twitter for daily groans and gripes. I also have a Ko-fi if you feel so inclined to leave me a tip! All of the coffees people buy for me on there will go towards self-publishing my novel (which is not a NYR, but a life goal that will eventually come true!).

Happy 2021, everyone! Regardless of goal-making and life planning, I hope we all have a MUCH better year ahead of us. I’ll see you here next week!

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I write stories, as well as music, movie, product reviews and monthly wrap-up journals. Basically, if you can think it, I can write about it.

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Mary B. Golubich

Mary B. Golubich

I write stories, as well as music, movie, product reviews and monthly wrap-up journals. Basically, if you can think it, I can write about it.

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