Why You Shouldn’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

January 9, 2017 in Learning by Anna

New Year’s resolutions are great, unless you don’t really resolve to do anything. Then they become a list of wishes. Unless you are going to determine steps to make your wishes turn into goals AND you’re going to follow through with those steps, you probably should not make New Year’s resolutions.

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Why You Shouldn't Make New Year's Resolutions by Learn Like A Mom! (And what to consider instead.) http://learnlikeamom.com/why-you-shouldnt-make-new-years-resolutions/

Full disclaimer before we completely dive in: I’m not against setting goals. I have always been a goal setter and sometimes even a goal achiever. If you’re the same, you may enjoy this audible, or if you’re interested in developing and achieving SMART goals try this e-book or this book.

Why You Shouldn’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

You’ll probably write the same things on a sheet of paper that you did the year before. Some of the common resolutions we’ve all heard are: Lose weight, exercise, spend less, save more, travel, go to church, and so on and so forth. There’s a reason these are common. We hear them (or write them) time and time again and…nothing changes.

By mid-January, they’ll be long forgotten. Maybe even before January 15th, they aren’t a thought in our minds. They were good ideas two weeks prior (and the years before that), but that’s what they have remained…ideas.

You didn’t think of a route to your destination. Saving money sounds great, but do you know what you’re already spending? Do you know what you need to cut and where you’ll put that amount? Have you factored in your new gym membership? What will you do with it? Will the autodraft payment that comes out each month help you shed those pounds? What churches are in your area? Do they have programs your family will be interested in? Do you know when the services are?

You’re overwhelmed. You try to better yourself constantly. Maybe. Let’s say some of you try to better yourselves constantly. Which can be a good thing. But it can also be the reason you fail yourselves time and time again. You say yes when you should say no, sign up when you should wait a few more months, and have a list of ten New Year’s resolutions when you should focus on two.

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Why I Didn’t Make New Year’s Resolutions (This Year)

I knew I wouldn’t utilize an effective goal setting system to achieve any of them.

In fact, I had absolutely no desire whatsoever for the first time in years, maybe even decades, to sit down and write a list of things I wanted to do or accomplish in the year ahead.

I knew what would become of that list. It would get folded and filed under “My Stuff” in my filing cabinet only for me to see the following year when I added another list of New Year’s resolutions.

I had really high expectations for myself at the beginning of last year, and the years before that, thinking what many of us do. “I can have it all!” “I can do it all!” “I will make it happen!”

Guess what?

I can’t. I can’t. And, I won’t.

This sounds sad. But in all honesty, it isn’t.


I wrote five blog posts last year. FIVE! One of which included tips for working at home, which I clearly couldn’t even implement myself. (Man! Was it interesting for me to go back and hear from my year-ago-self!) And this is the one thing I want to do for myself. I mean, aside from the occasional Netflix binge or the chance to shower or go to the bathroom without having to deal with the kids barging in.


I have kids. I know. It’s not an excuse. But I have them. And I am with them. ALL. THE. TIME. My husband travels a lot. I rarely spend a night without little ones who depend on me. And they are needy. Because…they are young children and young children NEED things NOW. We did decide to try Kindergarten with our oldest. (We had been on the homeschool route for awhile.) So he’s in half day K, but other than that and a few rare occasions, I don’t get a break. Unless I go to the gym. Which also hasn’t been happening.


I’m pregnant. I know. It’s not an excuse either. For some of you. But for some of us, pregnancy takes a toll on our bodies. I personally get very sick. Don’t let the term “morning sickness” fool you. And don’t think that it only lasts for the first trimester either. And don’t tell me about all the ways to deal with it, as I have probably given everything a shot. The bottom line is that I’m out for the count for most of pregnancy and it’s been that way with all three, regardless of their gender or my age, and whether I was working or at home. It simply is what it is and it doesn’t involve the energy for a workout.

There’s several other reasons I could throw into the mix, but I won’t.

Why isn’t my negative talk sad?

I have kids. I’m pregnant. And I stay home. All of these are blessings. I may not be able to save as much as I’d like. I may be out of shape. I may not travel as much as I’d love to (but we’ve had some awesome travel adventures I look forward to sharing with you.) I do go to church, so there’s a win!

I have also learned to say NO! Which is major in my book. I come from a place of YES! No matter what, I make it work. Well, over the years, I’ve learned that saying no can be good. In fact, saying no can be a very great practice. Need more encouragement in this area? Check out How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty.

This past year, I have made some choices about how I want to spend my time. My husband and I have had to evaluate what we think would benefit each of us and each of our children the most. This has led me to be more cognizant of what I feel God’s purpose is for me, how I spend my time, and what really matters in life.

And it’s not my file folder full of New Year’s resolutions that haven’t been met for the past three decades. I can assure you of that.

What should you do?

You shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions because you should be making things happen that matter. Be present in the moment and be aware of what you’re doing to get where you want to be. Any day of the week, any week of the year. Make a goal for today. Maybe a short checklist for tomorrow. Don’t be lazy, but don’t feel you need to conquer everything in one year when you’re struggling to get through the week.

Breathe. Give yourself a break. Focus. Then knock it out of the park one small task (or polite “no”) at a time!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also be interested in Finding Balance and Purpose. (Whoa! It was interesting re-reading this one too!)

What have you said “no” to lately?