Do You Need New Year's Resolutions?

Do You Need New Year's Resolutions?

Welcome to another year and the annual question regarding the setting of New Year's resolutions. Many people are all for them, suggesting that they can help keep you on track and moving towards achieving your goals. Others say that they are simply a pointless excercise to make us feel better, with most being broken before January is finished.

Today we're getting to the nitty gritty and examining what New Year's resolutions are, if you need any, and how to keep ones you have set.

What Are New Year's Resolutions?

It's traditional to set goals in January each year for what you what to achieve by year end. Called resolutions, these goals can be about anything but are traditionally based on things such as finance, giving up or starting a habit, eating better and losing weight.

A long standing tradition, they seem to have originated from religuous beliefs. Wikipedia says that Babylonians promised their gods they would pay off debts and return borrowed goods, while knights in the Medieval era used it to re-afirm their commitment to chivalry. What these and other historical facts boil down to is that they are all related to self-improvement.

Do We Need New Year's Resolutions?

The Journal of Clinical Psychology published a study which stated that only 46% of those who set any goals in Janaury achieved them. Other studies say this number is even lower, suggesting that less than 20% of goals are ever met. Knowing this, is setting any resolutions actually worth it? Will there be any benefit to you, or are you just wasting your time?

Research says that goal setting is beneficial for us, because it:

  • let's us see what we want to achieve
  • gives us something to anticipate
  • helps us plan a way forward
  • encourages us to challenge ourselves
  • can make us feel safer, due to the discipline we'll need to follow to meet our goals
  • give us something to be proud of achieving

On the other hand though, goal setting can have negative consequences which include:

  • sense of failure if goals are not met
  • stress to meet your goals
  • can make things not feel fun anymore
  • delaying your ability to do things you really want to do
  • stopping your creativity
  • de-motivating yourself

Tips On Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

It makes sense that when you set a resolution, you want to achieve it. However, often it's not that easy with life and work getting in the way. Here are some great tips to help you achieve your goals:

  • set goals which motivate you - this means your goals need to align with your dreams, aspirations, priorities and personality.
  • stick to a manageable number - it's best to stick with a smaller number of high-priority resolutions than overwhelm yourself and not meet any.
  • be SMART - keep your goals Specfic, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time sensitive.
  • break your larger goals up into smaller goals - often this means manageable chuncks you can work on during the year, helping you to avoid the overwhelm and procrastination which usually occurs
  • write them down in a prominant position - sounds silly, but if you haven't written them down somewhere you can see them often, it's easy to forget what you are working towards
  • share them with others - this can give you the accountability you need to keep on track

For more advice on goal setting, we recommend you check out the services of a business coach.

Posted: Monday 7 January 2019

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