New Year's resolutions suck. Despite what your friends, magazines and self-help types will say, making grandiose plans on January 1st is pretty pointless. People promise to lose weight, kick habits like smoking and dating losers and only eating 1.000 calories a day. We're so optimistic only to fall flat on our faces. According to US News, 80% of New Year's resolutions fail. That's right. Fail.
New Year's resolutions don't succeed because real change takes time and investment. It's taken you years—maybe your entire life—to be the way you are. Creating a simple vision board or to-do list on January 1st isn't going to completely change you. Most people make big proclamations and expect to see results immediately, like on January 2nd. When they don't, they lose all motivation.
It's true that the first step to change is to resolve to change. However, New Year's resolutions treat deep issues like changing a pair of socks. It isn't just about self-discipline. Maybe the reason you're overweight isn't just because you like Oreos. Maybe the reason you date losers isn't just because they're hot. We all have psychological and behavioral histories that may require help and support from a medical professional.
For New Year's resolutions to make sense, start small. Instead of turning from coach potato to supermodel by February, resolve to work out twice a week. Create a list of specific action items to make those big, vague goals possible. For instance, resolve to get your finances in order by keeping aside $20 a week. Feel empowered to seek help from professionals for guidance and accountability. And of course, don't be so hard on yourself! Even if you fail on your resolution, you are not a failure. You have all year to make it happen.