Welcome to the 10th Smart Money Debate at ReadyForZero! To see the other side of this debate, read Cait’s post: Why You Should Absolutely Make a New Year’s Resolution. And then let us know which argument was more convincing!
This post was written by Andrea Travillian, a blogger, author and personal finance and development expert. She writes on money management, investing and other personal development topics at TakeASmartStep.com. You can find her on Twitter and FaceBook.
It is almost the New Year. A great time for a new start, a fresh chance to reach all your goals and become the person that you want to be. When the clock strikes midnight you have a new chance to make 2013 the best year ever.
Stop. Before you get too excited about your great new opportunities, please take my advice and do not make any New Year’s resolutions.
Yes you heard me right; do not make any goals for the New Year. Chances are strong you will not achieve them anyway, so why go to all the trouble?
You might be thinking that I am being a little harsh or even a Debbie Downer, but let’s look at the statistics.
Three out of four people almost never succeed in achieving their New Year’s goal. Yes you read that right – almost everyone who sets a New Year’s resolution fails.
Why do they fail?
People setting New Year’s goals are setting them because their best friend is, their boss is, and even their spouse is setting a New Year’s goal. Not to mention that every media outlet and blog is talking about setting goals for the New Year non-stop the month of December and January! When you set a goal because everyone else is and the media is telling you to set one then you are not committed to achieving that goal, you are committed to making a goal just to be like everyone else.
You may say that you want to achieve the goals you set but actually following through and achieving them is a completely different thing. When you are not committed to the goal then you don’t take the time to sit down and do the things necessary to achieve the goal.
You don’t make it a SMART goal, you don’t know the exact why behind your desire to achieve the goal, you don’t think through in detail how you are going to achieve the goal and you don’t set up a support system that will help you along the way. All of these steps are crucial to actually being able to achieve a goal that you are fully committed to. Achieving your goals is not always easy and if you have not taken the proper steps to ensure success then you will stop when you run into road blocks.
Additionally when you set a New Year’s resolution that you are not going to commit to and actually achieve, you begin to destroy your belief in yourself. You begin to think you can’t lose the weight, get out of debt, or achieve a promotion. This negative energy begins to cloud how you can actually achieve goals the rest of the year. By constantly setting goals that you don’t achieve you begin to think you can’t do it, when in reality you just did not set yourself up for success that you could achieve.
Instead of setting New Year’s resolutions that you have no intention of committing to, you should only set goals for yourself when you are ready to do it the right way. It does not matter what time of year this happens. It can be June 1st and it will work better than a January 1st goal because you really want it and are willing to take the steps needed to achieve that goal. You can begin to make positive changes to your life any day that you decide it is time. Waiting until a new year is just an excuse to not commit and achieve your goal. You can lose weight any time (including the holidays), you can pay off debt anytime, you can de-clutter anytime. Simply commit to the goal and make it happen; stop waiting for New Years Day.
So this year when someone asks “What is your New Year’s Resolution?” tell them you are not setting one. Instead you maintain goals that you are actively working on year round and the date does not determine when you will set new ones, only your desire and commitment to achieving what you want will determine when you set a new goal!
To see the other side of this debate, read Cait’s post: Why You Should Absolutely Make a New Year’s Resolution. And then let us know which argument was more convincing!
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