Why I'm Against New Year's Resolutions

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year's resolutions always fail. Period. Full stop. This blog post has officially ended before it began.

You're probably wondering now why I, a generally positive person who dispenses advice on bucket lists and productivity, would be so strongly anti-resolution. There are a lot of things that I could be against in this world - why New Year's resolutions? Why something that is supposed to be fun and silly and made once a year? Let me explain:

Change is a process. You make careful incisions to cut around your old beliefs and practices. You remove them, bit by bit, sometimes leaving little traces behind and having to go back and remove them at a later date. You grow new practices, new beliefs, in the space that is left behind. It's a job for a scalpel or an X-acto knife.

New Year's resolutions are like a billy club. Which sounds more appropriate?

On a grander level, New Year's resolutions contribute to the idea that one can "make it" to the end of the year and have "completed" whatever it is they planned to do. It's destination mentality repackaged to include some noble change that you hope to do in your life. Not to mention how vague those resolutions often end up being. The zero-sum game of either "fulfilling" or "failing" just irks me beyond belief. It misses the entire point of why you would make that change in the first place.

After all that rage against resolutions, you may now be doing one of two things: a) rolling your eyes at the computer screen or b) asking: where's the constructive alternative? That, dear readers, is where gentle goals and soft manifestations come in. Stay tuned for Thursday's post to learn what exactly this entails.

Have you made your New Year's resolutions? What kinds of things do you want to work on? And what do you think about the whole business of New Year's anyway? Let me know in the comments.