169 New Year's Resolutions: Why I Don't Set Them & What You Should Do Instead

 New Year's Resolutions: Why I Don't Set Them & What You Should Do Instead


Don't waste your time writing New Year's resolutions - they're a setup for failure. Once upon a time, I was a firm believer in making traditional New Year's resolutions each year, but I have since come to realize that this is a waste of time.

Instead of making bold statements at the beginning of the year (most times unrealistic to your current circumstances), I now focus on something completely different. A way that allows for changes that may come up over the course of the year and account for changes.

My realistic approach is how to set yourself up for success.


In this episode, you will learn the following:
1. Why I don't believe in New Year's resolutions and how they can actually set you up for failure.
2. What an alternative approach to New Year's resolutions is.
3. A better way to approach goal setting for the coming year.


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All right, be honest. Have you started thinking about New Year's resolutions? If you have, you need to listen up. You need to listen up good today, because today I want to tell you why I do not want you wasting any of your precious time for the rest of this year actually writing down New Year's resolutions. Instead, I want to encourage you to do something a little bit different.

So let's go ahead and get started.

Welcome to the Work Life Harmony podcast. I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the top program and top planner, teaching all things time management, organization, and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife, and just like you juggling hashtag all the things while running multiple businesses and a family, guess what? You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out.

There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time, planning and organization, to skyrocket your productivity so you can have Work Life Harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you. And if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my Work Life Harmony assessment.

All you have to do is DM me on instagram at Megan Sumrell with the word Harmony, and my team will send it right over.

Welcome back to work life. Harmony. So we are sneaking up here to the end of the year. This is a time when people start thinking about the next year that's coming. And then one of the things that I really dislike starts to pop up in conversations, which is the idea of New Year's resolutions.

Now, I have always been very open about my feelings towards these, but I feel that it bears repeating, especially of the timeliness of when this episode is coming out, because we are getting ready to wrap up 2022 here. And today I'm just going to zero in on two specific reasons why I do not coach or teach people to set New Year's resolutions. And I just want to give you something to think about here with this. Now, before we jump into the two core reasons why I don't believe in this, I do think that it bears discussing. I absolutely love goal setting, thinking about the New Year, setting up plans.

I mean, I held a two day live event solely dedicated to teaching people how to create a meaningful plan for the upcoming year, one that's actually going to serve you. So I just want to make sure that we cover that right out of the gate. I am not anti goal setting. I'm not anti future planning. I 100% in support of those.

But the traditional New Year's resolutions just don't fit in. So let's dive into the two core reasons why I don't encourage this. First and foremost, a New Year's resolution is a statement, and what it lacks is a thoughtful plan behind it. So when people sit down and think about their New Year's resolutions, they're usually just one statement, one sentence, this year I will write a book. This year I will stop doing X.

This year I will get in shape, or whatever that all the traditional New Year's resolutions are. And usually they're things that are focused very heavily on things that we want to change. And they usually have kind of a negative undercurrent, right, ladies out there? I'm sure many of us in our past lives have made New Year's resolutions about weight loss and things like that. And usually that stems from something that we're not happy about, something that we're wanting to change.

So we make these statements, but we don't actually sit down and connect with, why am I saying this is a resolution? And then more importantly, what is my plan of attack to make sure I actually get there? So think about that as you're thinking about 2023. Things that you want to bring in, things that maybe you want to leave behind, things you want to change up new, things that you want to embark on. And ask yourself, are you making firm statements or are you really taking thoughtful time to think about the desire that you have for the upcoming year?

And then what is a realistic plan that you can put in place to help you get there? So that's really reason number one, is New Year's resolutions are statements. They are not plans. And because of this, which kind of leads to the second part of why I don't like New Year's resolutions is they inherently set us up for failure. When you make a firm statement about something that you will or will not do in the New Year, and you don't actually have the thoughtful plan behind it, what tends to happen is things change a lot, right?

And I feel like every year there just seems to open the door to more and more change. And so you may have set a New Year's resolution, you may have made one of those bold statements about something you were or were not going to do, and then two, three, four months into the year, something significant happens that actually changes your desire to achieve that New Year's resolution. But because all you did was make this statement of what will or will not happen when that change comes, rather than acknowledging, okay, something has changed, something has shifted, I need to go back and actually look at this and decide, is this still a good fit for me? We don't do that. What we do is we just continue on our merry way.

And then at the end of the year, we go back and look at those resolutions or statements that we wrote down. And then the ones that didn't happen. Which most of the time are almost all of them. Then we feel guilty because the resolution doesn't actually give you the ability to accommodate change. All right, so this is why I want you to leave behind your old school thoughts about New Year's resolutions.

We aren't going to make statements and we aren't going to pretend that we can actually make a statement and predict with 100% certainty what the next twelve months are going to look like. Okay? So instead, what I want you to be thinking about as we wrap up this year and you're thinking about what desires and dreams that you have for 2023. Whether it's starting something new, maybe it's finishing something, maybe it's leaving something behind or shifting something up, I want you to be thinking about what plans are you putting in place, that you have control over that is going to set you up for success. And then along with that, what systems are you putting in place that allow you to review those plans regularly and embrace any changes that you may need to make?

Because we don't know what the future has in store right now, this is exactly what my plan of Paluza Community is all about. So I have the pleasure of spending this next year 2023 with a group of women that are all about hitting those goals, dreaming big, but more importantly, creating the framework to support them on that journey. So that at the end of the year, we have a list of mile long of things that we were going to celebrate instead of looking back and feeling like we failed because we didn't achieve those resolutions that weren't well thought out, that were just random statements that didn't have a plan and couldn't accommodate change. So I encourage you rip up those New Year's resolutions. Think about a different way of setting yourself up for success in 2023.

And if you are listening to this and you are interested in learning more about planapalooza, please don't hesitate to reach out to me or my team at [email protected] to shoot us an email and we can send you some information on planetalooza as well. I hope you have a fantastic rest of your year getting on top of all things time management, organization and productivity doesn't have to stop just because this episode is over. If you want one, tap access to all of my training and current top podcasts, go to the App Store or Google Play and download the Pink B apps. One word the pink b. It is jampacked with simple yet powerful tips and strategies to get you out of overwhelm and into harmony.

And if you have a question you want me to COVID on a future episode, go to itunes and ask your question in the podcast review section. And while you're there, don't forget to leave a five star review.

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