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Why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions


Here we are again at that time of year when we are drooling over Black Friday sales, celebrating various holidays, and starting to think about the whole “new year, new me!“ trend. This year has been...rough (a word that doesn’t really clearly articulate the traumatic year we are struggling through) and many of us are looking forward to some sort of reprieve.

A few years ago, I made the decision to no longer make resolutions at the beginning of each year. One reason is because there is way too much pressure. I have to come up with a specific goal that has to be completed in 365 days!? A second reason is that I notice many folx struggle to stay on track with their resolutions. Like how everyone would sign up for year-long gym memberships and stop going by February 1st (raise your hand if I just called you out). Instead, I have focused more on setting SMART goals throughout the year and discontinue emotional flagellation if a goal is not met.


The SMART method of goal setting helps me focus on realistic and attainable change. Paying attention to these things also allows me the flexibility to consistently evaluate and edit my goals as needed. It also diminishes the anxiety that pops up when people want to know my list of resolutions!

I have learned not to wait until January 1st to begin working on a “new me.” I mean, for one thing, I’m kind of partial to the current “me”, anyway. Regardless, I now set various goals throughout the year and I enjoy the decrease in social pressure. I am in no way suggesting YOU shouldn’t set resolutions; it is important to do what works best for you. But, if it doesn’t fit your style, maybe consider giving yourself permission to try something different. - Dr. B

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