SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Friday, December 30, 2011

Rethinking Resolutions | Family Economics

By Erin

I think New Year’s resolutions need rethinking.

Last year, I shared the goals and highlights box idea. It’s a tradition my husband’s family does every year where each member of the family writes down their top five highlights from the previous year, along with their top five goals for what they wish to accomplish in the new year.

I’ve come to believe that resolutions lend themselves to failure. You always hear about people making grand goals for what they’d like to change: lose 20 pounds, quit drinking coffee or soda, quit “bad” habits. You start hearing people complain that they are not seeing results by the end of the second or third week in January, and they give up on their resolution entirely.

I think the problem is that we live in such an “instant” society and we expect “instant results.” We hope that the new year will magically help us melt away 10 pounds the first week of the year, and 10 more pounds the next week. We somehow believe that this new start will make everything easier to accomplish, but the hype is focused on resolutions that are too big or daunting.

I believe people need to rethink their resolutions and make smaller ones. Make goals on a monthly, weekly, and even daily basis. Decide to visit the gym three times the first week, or not purchase any cola products one week. Find someone to hold you accountable to stay out of the drive- thru. How else are you going to kick your cola habit or lose weight?  

These specific, measurable goals are much more realistic and easier to achieve, thereby making you feel successful and keeping you from giving up on your resolution. When you make goals that are actually attainable and not farfetched, they are simpler to achieve and that “feel good,” “I can do this” adrenaline will take over and carry you towards the goal you’ve had in mind, and the resolution you’ve not been able to keep in years past.

What big goals do you have for the upcoming new year?

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