Why Attempting a New Year's Resolution is Brave / by Amy DeRosia

The most frustrating aspect of New Year's resolutions is disappointing yourself. You get your hopes up about making something fantastic happen in your life, commit to a habit, and fall short.

This cycle makes starting again that much harder. But year after year, so many people give New Year's resolutions another try. Is it because they're crazy or stupid? Maybe.

I think they're brave. Of course we want to set ourselves up for success. But, choosing to hope, dream, and plan after failing multiple times is courageous.

We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives...not looking for flaws, but for potential.
— Ellen Goodman

Resolutions are usually seen as a waste of time because most people fail at their goals before the end of January. But, there are some individuals who make major changes that stick. Lots of folks do more self reflection than they do at any other time and try to better themselves. Failure or not, these are nice characteristics to see in our culture.

Most approaches to changing your behavior are pretty similar. You have to take action, or they don't work. Find a method you like and test it out. See what feels right to you.

Here are a few good resources I know of:

  • A wonderful blog on this topic is Leo Babauta's Zen Habits.
  • My favorite resource right now is Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map (affiliate link). I've been using her system for about a year and love it.
  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

In this process, you're allowed to change your mind, quit, or fail. Just don't beat yourself up about it too much. Be intentional. Stay in motion as much as you can. Take a break and recharge. Try something else.

Lasting change is a marathon, not a sprint. There will always be obstacles in the way. The sooner we learn setbacks are part of the process, the better off we'll be.

When you're unsuccessful, you learn a lot more than if you got it right on the first try. This information about what didn't work helps you fail better and faster next time.

Starting a resolution is brave. January 1st or not- if something is important to you, I hope you continue to believe in the possibility of change and persist toward your goal. You never know what you can achieve if you don't go for it.

Happy New Year :)

What went well for you this year? What are you looking forward to about 2015?