New Year’s non-resolution

by Todd Hebert

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New year’s resolutions don’t work. I don’t have to tell you this. You already know. So, why do you keep making them and breaking them year after year.

You’re not going to lose weight, quit smoking, find a new job, eat healthier, exercise more, stick to a savings plan or anything else based on a new year’s resolution. Stop making these false promises to yourself. Do you enjoy setting yourself up for failure?

January 1st begins the calendar year. Naturally it feels like the perfect time for new beginnings and fresh starts. The problem is that January 1st only comes around once a year. New Year’s is an event. People feel the need to make grandiose, sweeping changes instead of resolving to set small goals that are actually attainable.

I say get rid of the goals and resolutions altogether. Stop looking to the past at where you have failed and, in turn, looking to the future at what you need to change. The past is history and the future will be dealt with when it becomes the present. Instead, look at yourself right here and now, in the present. Who are you as a person? What do you stand for? How do you choose to live? What is important in your life?

We all have a personal philosophy that we live by whether we can easily define it or not. It guides and affects every decision we make. When we do something contrary to it we feel guilt or shame. Our philosophies evolve over time as we experience new things and gain life experience, but we can’t force it to change based on a resolution made on January 1st. We can’t tell ourselves, “this is what I should be doing.” Instead, it has to be, “this is what I want to do based on how I have chosen to live my life.

Even though our personal philosophies are embedded into every action we take, it’s pretty easy to get distracted and lose site of it. But it’s also pretty easy to take a moment every now and then to remind yourself of what you stand for, what is important, and how you choose to live. A once-a-year reminder is definitely not gonna cut it.

If we live every moment according to our philosophy, and gently remind ourselves of it when we stray, there is no need to look back at failures or forward to improvements. Resolutions will be unnecessary, and we will be a lot happier and more fulfilled.

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