To ditch or not to ditch New Year’s Resolutions

The question of whether new year’s resolutions should be ditched or not is probably as old as the time of the Julian calendar back in pre-Christian Rome days. Each year we have a ‘pro new year’s resolutions’ camp and then we have the camp that proclaims that New Year’s Resolutions are just a fad and should be banned. We even have a Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day on 17 January.

Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day

The reality is that most people make a half-hearted attempt at New Year’s Resolutions and then they give up. Probably around Ditch-New-Year’s-Resolutions-Day which is apparently on 17 January. My guess is that it is probably the reason why worldwide obesity has tripled since 1975 as per the World Health Organisation. And it is also the reason why too many people just accept their fate and need all sorts of gimmicks to try and make themselves feel happy.

If you stop trying to improve yourself, your chances of regression are high. Personally, I believe that the only great thing about ‘Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day’ is that the overcrowded gyms can go back to normal again.

Ditch the New Year’s Resolutions

Personally, I do not believe in New Year’s resolutions. A resolution is almost as strong as having a dream and nothing else. It does not work and should not be the norm whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong. I love to use the New Year as a springboard to re-energize into the new year. An opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed. Assess the trials and tribulations of the previous 356 days of your life and recalculate where you are going. A time to adjust the plans.

Let’s face it, some ideas were just not a great idea to start with and should be canned the moment you realize that was not the ideal course of action. We are not perfect and that is perfectly OK. The realization of imperfection should not fuel your self-pity, but rather re-energize you in your new direction.

Time To Reflect

You don’t have to wait for the New Year to reflect and re-align your goals and action plans. A quick Google Trends search showed a worldwide trend in Googling terms such as weight loss, exercise, and religion had its ultimate spike during April/May 2020. The start of the worldwide Covid-Lockdown in 2020. To me, this shows clearly that the only thing you need to reassess your status quo and work on a new plan of action is time to reflect.

What doesn’t get measured?

There is a saying: ‘what does not get measured, does not get done’. It might sound like a bit of a cliche, but it will always be highly important in whether or not your plans are executed successfully. Whether you call them New Year’s Resolutions or stick to objectives and action plans, you are not going to achieve any success without having something to work towards. Yes, it has to be realistic. You cannot start running in January and expect to run the Comrades in June. That is almost physically impossible for a variety of reasons.

1% Improvement at a time to nail your New Year’s Resolutions

If you have a dream to run the Comrades, you can start to get your training plans, training partners, clubs, and everything else in place to get you there. But without the planning and appropriate training, you will not get to the Comrades finish line. Or you might realize along the way that you prefer to stick to 5km Parkruns. That is perfectly OK. As long as you start planning and training today. James Clear made the 1% Improvement rule popular with his book Atomic Habits, and I believe it is one of the best pieces of advice out there among the millions of self-help books. 1% Improvement on most days is all it takes, but you have to start somewhere.

To ditch or not to ditch

Getting back to the debate of whether New Year’s Resolutions should be ditched or not. I believe a yes and no is appropriate here. No, I am not sitting on the fence like a Joiner. Frivolous New Year’s Resolutions that have been made over a brandy-and-coke on New Year’s Eve are not going to get you anywhere. If you do want to change your status quo, you need to get your pen and paper out and start planning. Step-by-step in as much detail as required and then it’s time to start implementing. 1% Improvement on most days is all it takes. Imagine where you could be in 365 days from no

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