New Years Resolutions: Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

Every January, like clockwork, people begin their New Year’s resolutions. Personally, I’ve never been much of a resolutioner. I think that using the new year as an incentive to set goals is great but, often I find myself just wanting to hug resolutioners who set goals that are well, a little too intense.

You can do anything you put your mind to – I am in no way attesting that – but, sometimes I think New Year’s resolutions can lead to people biting off way more than they can chew.

new year's resolution samandro

For instance, many people use January as a takeoff point for healthier living. However, when I listen to people who haven’t been to the gym in five years talking about the twenty day juice fast and seven-day per week workout plan they are starting, it confuses me.

Goals are great but, just like the new nutrition plan you might be following – everything in moderation. I am not saying that making drastic changes in a short period of time is a road to failure but, for me and for a lot of people, smaller changes made over a longer period of time seem to have the best, long-term results.

When I hear people talk about resolutions every January or see my gym fill up with new members, I really want to see people succeed. But, I also want to hug every resolutioner who can be so darn hard on themselves.

signs your resolutions might be too intense

There is always a place for tough love and, constructive criticism is important. But, if you are taking on a new resolution this year, remember to also cut yourself a little slack because just like too much pie, too much guilt can be destructive.

Whether you’re trying to keep you desk organized or want to drop a few pounds this year, remember that your New Year’s resolution is meant to last far past the end of January. Don’t set goals so high that you are back to your old ways at the end of the week. There is a fine line between challenging yourself and running yourself into the ground.

And most importantly, from someone who just wants to give every resolutioner a pep talk, don’t be too hard on yourself. Focus on how your changes make you feel and how little achievements can get you one step closer to the bigger picture.

One brownie, one missed email, or one bad workout does not have the power to derail your goal unless you let it. Let’s make 2014 a year of positive change.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

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10 comments

  1. I agree, people take drastic goals, which in turn might be too much to start off with and then they stop all together. I talked about the same thing in my post. lol. Great post btw!

  2. I think your point on focusing how changes make you feel is a really important one. That’s so important, because it’s easy to make resolutions just because it feels like you should, rather than for yourself.

    I wrote myself a bunch of journalistic resolutions, but they are all longer term. I don’t bother with resolutions otherwise, as I regularly think about my goals. In my case, the thing that I forget to work on is maintaining a positive inner outlook, and I think making attempts to improve that is the best resolution anyone can make who needs to do so.

    1. I agree. I feel like people sometimes feel obligated to make a resolution and, then they pick something they might not actually want to commit too.

  3. Great post! My resolutions are nearly always the same every year, and most of them are uncompleted because they’re just too vague, e.g. ‘lose weight’, ‘be happy’ – I’ve found I have to break things down into actual goals in order to reach them rather than make grand sweeping statements/promises to myself. I’ve got to work harder but also not be so hard on myself!

  4. Beautifully written! I am not really a new years resolution type of person. If I want to be healthy in August I start in August. I don’t let new years dictate new goals to strive for. I have learned that if you aren’t open to change, change won’t happen no matter what time of the year is. I wish the best of luck to anyone that has a new years resolution list!

  5. My problem is actually getting around to it, which I’m already better about this year. I have really specific goals and I know the steps to take to get there but it’s just sitting down (or actively) doing it. One of them ends up being blogging because I pay to be self hosted & own my domain name. I always feel so guilty when I’m not active on my blog. This year is very hectic though; we’re buying a house, I still want a specific used car, I need to get back in school and pay for it as I go. That’s why most of my resolutions are pretty much to be cheap all year. LOL. Anyways, the point I was trying to get to is I think most people know they can do it, they just don’t. For me, its usually a mental barrier, I build some things up to being these huge hard road block to overcome that it’s just easier to give up… Well, not this year! I hope you came up with some great resolutions!

  6. I actually scaled back on resolutioning this year and made some general “goals” for myself as kind of the direction I want my year/life to take off into.

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