Why A New Years Resolution is the Wrong Way to Start the Year | PTPA | Parent Tested Parent Approved

Why A New Years Resolution is the Wrong Way to Start the Year

I used to jump on the resolution bandwagon, making January 1st the time to set new goals. But each year, as my goals failed to materialize, I would enter spring frustrated and disappointed in myself.

To lose 10 lbs, to take on a new challenge, to make a drastic change in our life, all of these ended up piling up as failures for the year.

So I stopped.

I stopped making resolutions and difficult-to-achieve goals that wouldn’t pivot and adjust to changes I experienced, and I started choosing an intention instead.

Setting an “intention” for the year is focussing on one key word that will capture every aspect of your life, from work to play, to hobbies and lifestyle.   It is not setting hard numbers, or specific items that you MUST achieve, but setting a feeling that should follow you through your days and help remind you of your focus for the year.

An intention to be more courageous with things that come your way, or to simplify things in your life that are more difficult than they need to be.  An intention to learn, whatever you can, whenever the opportunity arises.

Setting intentions allows us to enter the year feeling powerful and in control. It helps us face our weaknesses (and demons) and acknowledge that they are there and that over time, with consistent effort, we may be able to overcome them.

We can not fail with intentions, as they are feelings not achievements that need to be ticked off on a card.  They are a mindset that we adopt to remind us what we value most this year.

So, as you get your feet comfortable in 2016, spend some time thinking about what word you can set as an intention that will help you define how you want to move forward as the days unroll. Find a word that works both in your career and work, as well as your life, because valuing each of these will ensure that one does not become a burden to the other.

And then remind yourself each morning in January what your “intention” is, and go about your day allowing it to seep into each activity you perform.  Eventually, as February rolls around your intention will have become part of who you are, and positively effect everything you do.

So, what is YOUR intuition for 2016?  Share below in the comments, and inspire others.

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Comments (41)

  • This sentiment is one that I can get on board with. Most resolutions end up being self-centered in nature anyway! Practicing conscious generosity, gratitude, and kindness (toward others and myself) definitely top my list of “intentions” to work on this upcoming year.

    Rachel
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    • Love this! Focus on the big picture of how you want your days to be instead of the micro goals!

      Reply
    • I think its a great ideal you only have one life , live it to the fullest!

      Reply
  • I love this outlook Julie. I completely agree with you, setting resolutions to me feels like setting ourselves up for failure. Why do we suddenly think that because the clock has struck midnight and its a new year that all of the sudden, all of the challenges we were not able to accomplish all year, all of the sudden become more attainable. But an intention, that can be made up of several steps and is more like a roadmap than a promise. Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
    • Agreed! Why have end points to our journey- is should be a path to discovery!

      Reply
  • I totally agree with you, Julie. My husband asked if I had any resolutions this year, and I replied, “Nope.” He thought that was hilarious, but I was jokingly serious. I have goals I want to achieve this year, and a few personal tweaks I like to make.. but I’m not going to set myself up for the pressure of checking things of an overreaching to-do list, which is what my past resolutions ALWAYS turned out to be. Great post!

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    • Thanks for reading Kelsi! And me as well, I focus on a theme and find success in multiple areas of my life, vs just one resolution!

      Reply
  • Resolutions are here to be broken. Better, make a simple, basic plan and stick to it no matter what

    Liam
    Reply
  • Resolutions never work with me that’s why I decided not to make them anymore. If you really want to accomplish something, you will if you put your mind to it! 🙂

    Tracy
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    • Agreed! And keep it in your focus for a long duration!

      Reply
  • I have never really made resolutions. I’ve always felt like the odd duck out, in high school we always seemed to have a teacher who made it an assignment for us to make a resolution, I really disliked that assignment the most out of everything. I rather just go about as normal and as things come up I will evaluate them and make changes as needed.

    Reply
    • Ugh. yes I wouldn’t like that assignment either. good for you for “going your own way”

      Reply
  • My new year resolution is always the same. To focus more on family, making more memories, increasing the “fun” in the day to day, trying to cook more healthier and be more active physically and more active in my family’s lives. And so far, for the last 2 or 3 years that I’ve made this same resolution, I’ve seenever that I am more happier and it is something I can achieve. It is broad enough, but simple enough. We definitely go all out on trying to make everyday fun with new activities or games, we dance and sing to music, we have family movie nights at least 2x a week that involves cuddling together and snacks. We also have game nights, day trips, just driving in the country listening to music and singing. We take lots of pics, keep up with local events and have been spending more “quality” time together each year. I have been cooking more and am more adventurous in trying new recipes and bake more with and withoutthe kids. We have embraced Pinterest and DIY books and do crafts and projects often. I feel our family fun is at an all time high, even without expensive toys and major vacations because we try to focus on quality time and make each day special in its own way. Yes some days we are lazy and just do the bare minimum but on those days we try to still do at least one fun thing. Whether it’s letting the kids pick a movie that night or treating them to candy after dinner, telling jokes or stories, something little with less energy output. But I do believe that I could put more effort into my resolutions and start exercising more, but I know myself, and I would burnout fast if I didn’t put it more into a more fun resolution. Last year we were very active with hikes, and walking the beach and beach towns with family. We drive to a beach about an hour way almost 1-2 times per month when it’s somewhat nicer out or not freezing. We also go there to play on the Big playgrounds. There’s is a lot nicer. And we get out and play too, like our kids. This way we are active and we do get exercise but it’s more fun than the Adult version of going to a gym like a torture chamber Lol. Or we walk to the playgrounds by our house and play. And if we get fast food sometimes if it is nice, we walk there with the kids, our youngest in strollers, and walk back so it’s being worked off.
    My type of resolution though is a no fail. Even if you are doing 1 fun thing a month, that’s 12 fun things you’ve done. Or add in the holidays and doing crafts, that’s at least 6 or more fun activities, plus during the spring and summer when you are more active, you’re getting exercise and making memories. Just don’t forget to take pics.

    Reply
  • I definitely have life goals more so than resolutions.

    Shaylee
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  • Love this. My resolution seems rather minor to most people but like you said, it’s only been a month and its already a part of who I am.

    Reply
  • Resolutions never work for me. I always find I end up breaking them.

    Reply
  • To make a resolution to me is setting yourself up for failure. Make small goals throughout the year and reach for those a little at a time. That way you aren’t disappointing yourself with big resolutions and they fail. Be successful with small goals.

    Monica Nuss
    Reply
  • I agree goals are better.I accomplish more with goals.

    Nancy Burgess
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  • I never make resolutions.

    Jeff Toplak
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  • i like the idea of intentions instead of resolutions. i have never been good at keeping resolutions, so perhaps this way, something will stick!

    Nicky
    Reply
  • For me I don’t need a new year to make a resolution it should be a daily thing to better my life I don’t have to wait to make a resolution.

    Sohair
    Reply
  • Interesting…

    Jennifer Lo
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  • I think new years resolutions are a good reminder of what we should be doing all year – setting goals and working towards them. I often get offtrack, and it helps to have that little reminder to inspire me!

    salexis
    Reply
  • I’ve never thought of it this way, you are so right! Intentions are so much better than resolutions.

    Jennifer Ann Wilson
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  • Great way to incorporate what you want to happen in your life. I think it through and plan for resolutions for sure. I am still at it and plan to keep the ones I made.
    I will add more as this journey of life carries on. I like your way of thinking, and will also start looking at it a little differently.

    Debbie S.
    Reply
  • It’s tough to stick to but if you have a realistic goal then go for it

    Theresa
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  • I’ve heard of this idea and it’s an interesting one but I don’t see it working for me personally. I think it’s better to have goals than resolutions though.

    Lisa
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  • I never participate in “resolutions”. I don’t like the idea of setting ourselves up for failure or following the pack, lol. I try to make small lifestyle changes throughout the year.

    Rushell Tuggle
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  • I totally agree with the post and it makes so much sense now reading how this Is explained. I have never made a new years resolution mostly because I normally can’t ever think of anything I want to change or do ,although having a family now a days and wanting to live a healthier lifestyle I have started changing my ways in the kitchen and slowly but surely changing our bad eating habits and without trying to just switch gears in a flash, I am still reading blogs and websites about healthy eating and ways to substitute foods with better foods and constantly educating myself to get the best info I can and filter out the not so good info so I can determine what ways will suit my family’s needs right. It’s a long but fun process and there’s always something new to learn and I enjoy it so its going to be more than a “new years” resolution but for long term

    n_liljequist@live.com
    Reply
  • Very true! Me either I stopped making my resolutions and just pursue on getting better and better every year. I have long-term goals set that I always put my attention to it. I think, it makes more sense than resolutions.

    Ana Aquino
    Reply
  • I agree!! I don’t set New Years resolutions. If there are things I want to change I start then and there, it doesn’t need to be a special month and most importantly I try to be realistic about a long term plan to get to where I need to go. Too much short term stuff can get demoralizing for sure!

    Lauren S
    Reply
  • interesting post

    lil_ragdoll@hotmail.com
    Reply
  • I’ve stopped worrying about my weight in terms of numbers, but instead try to be the best and healthiest me. I hope to get outside more often this year, taking more walks and enjoying nature.

    Monique L.S.
    Reply
  • I could not agree more. NY Resolutions are basically stating that you are failing at things. It’s not a positive outlook.

    Brandy
    Reply
  • I don’t do new year resolutions! I do a deep house cleaning at the beginning of the new year. The reason I don’t make new year resolutions is; it just doesn’t work for me. I set goal or intention for myself all the time and I like that.

    Carole Dube
    Reply
  • I’ve always thought this about New Years resolutions!

    Jessi Earnest
    Reply
  • I stopped making resolutions many years ago…. I’m always great natured and giving, so I figure if I continue on that path I will accomplish my goals. All about positive outlooks.

    Barbara O
    Reply
  • I love this!! Millions of people get their hopes up in anticipation of starting the new year off doing an insane, almost impossible endeavor that they have declared as their resolution! Then inevitably, they feel worthless and uncapable of fulfilling that resolution! Kudos to you for “Intentions”

    Jessica Aldridge
    Reply
  • I make changes to my life as I feel that I need & want to. I don’t specifically make resolutions for new years. Though I do move my clothes in my closet & what I haven’t worn in a year goes.

    Nicole
    Reply
  • This article certainly is a new take on New Years. I guess I used to think as my resolutions as intentions… Haha its a great article and definitely puts a new perspective on our goals. Thank you for sharing this article. 🙂

    Reply
  • New year resolutions are rarely kept in society today….thats why i make sure to get on top of things all year round. i don’t wait for jan 1st!!

    carrie melamed
    Reply

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