I just finished a new guide about goal setting, a relevant topic for this time of the year. “New Year’s resolutions” was supposed to be the topic of the next guide, but actually I feel more comfortable with a blog post. Prepare yourself for my rant.

My first tip about New Year’s resolutions is this: don’t set New Year’s resolutions. Simple as that. Do you still believe in Santa? I don’t think so. So why do you still believe in New Year’s resolutions? Did they ever work for you? My guess is that they didn’t.

Studies have shown that by the second week of February nearly 90% of the people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. (The stats are not 100% correct, but you get the picture). 

It kind of makes sense. Many things are wrong with New Year’s resolutions. If you really want to make a change, why wait until the next year? Do you know the best day to start? It’s today! If not today? It’s tomorrow. It’s not next year. 

There’s another problem with New Year’s resolutions. Just before we plan on improving our life “forever”, we stop caring about the present. “If I’m going to start a diet next week, I should eat everything I like while I still can.” Hello, McDonald’s, Nando’s and Dominoes! Guess a couple of Guinness won’t cause too much harm either… 

What to do instead of new year’s resolutions?

There are a couple of things you can do instead of setting these empty New Year’s resolutions. 

Firstly, it’s a better idea to analyse the past year. Look back at what went well and what could’ve gone better. Learn from your mistakes and repeat what makes you feel better than average. Here’s an example

If you do want to make big changes in the next year. Start now. And start small. Take it one step at a time. Make tiny but lasting changes

Make your New Year’s resolution a daily goal, not a yearly one. Don’t focus on losing a lot of weight by the end of June but focus on going for a walk each day. 

Take it easy. Make it easy. One step at a time, focus on the progress. Feel the motivation, celebrate each daily improvement. Enjoy the process. The results will come.