Making a New Year’s resolution dates back about 4,000 years to the Babylonians. While it is indeed a time-honored tradition, perhaps it’s high time we switch things up. Here are some good reasons not to make a New Year’s resolution for 2021.\
The gyms are closed.
Far and away, the number one resolution people make each year is to lose weight and/or become more fit. Of course, research has shown that nearly 80% of folks who make this resolution walk it back by the second week of February.
This year, many gyms are understandably closed due to the ongoing pandemic. That sounds like a great reason to, for once, completely skip promising to become a fitness model in 2021. No one needs to start their year admitting defeat.
“New year” doesn’t have to mean “new you”.
Here’s a concept: what if you don’t need to improve? What if time needs to catch up to you, not the other way around? What if the circumstances of a new year are what’s necessary to showcase what’s already great about you?
It’s a wonderful thing to recognize and foster ways to grow. But also - allow the passage of time to highlight what already makes you an admirable person.
Honor your own timing.
Let’s circle back to that study showing that the majority of resolution-makers break their promises by February. How different would the results be if everyone got to choose what month of the year they began their diet or workout regimen?
Come January 1st, we’re not all on the same page. If it makes sense to commit yourself to more exercise in warmer months, where you can enjoy outdoor activities, you may be more likely to stick with it for more than six weeks. If you want to heal from other health issues before engaging in strenuous activity, that too is a wise decision.
This applies to any change you want to make. You don’t have to be ready just because the calendar switched.
You need a break.
Honestly, is it not enough to just feel proud of making it through 2020? Let go of expectations and celebrate surviving another year. So many of our days are filed with obligations and things we need to accomplish; can New Year’s Day be the day where we say we’ve done enough?
Let’s practice a new way to celebrate a new year. Instead of trying to plan or control the future, enjoy the present. Sit with your singing bowl, set an intention for gratitude, and ease into the here and now - even if it comes with sporadic worries of an uncertain future.
As you reflect on 2020, can you think of anything you achieved that you’re proud of? Can you name a past New Year’s resolution that you made good on? Let us know in the comments, and have a happy, healthy, safe, and peaceful New Year.