New Year's Resolutions: It's Time to Stop Making Them

I had a vision of traveling in Tibet and felt it happen until it came true. That’s where I met this guy.

I had a vision of traveling in Tibet and felt it happen until it came true. That’s where I met this guy.

Ask yourself this one thing: How often has your New Year’s resolution come into fruition? Hardly, if ever, right?

The problem is when we are driven by a deadline to create an idea in our heads, the idea doesn’t stem from what we truly want. It stems from a sense of desperation. When you do that, it’s just not going to work. The “following the herd” type of approach on a holiday that marks a new year is simply that — a superficial way of welcoming the new year. Go party, enjoy your friends’ company, be as random and spontaneous as you want, but for god’s sake stop making resolutions just because everyone is doing it.

It’s overrated. Completely superficial. I have been on this earth for over 40 years and I’m so over it. But if an outsider merrymaker must ask you what your resolution is, well, just make sure it is small enough so it’s doable or already underway to occur. Or, better yet, just politely say “No, I don’t have one.” You won’t sound like an idiot or a creepy loner, I promise. In fact, you’ll sound like the wisest of them all. And you know that’s true. After all, it gets really irritating to come across people who blurt out a resolution, a major and life changing one while at it, just for the heck of it.

And maybe, some of you truly have thought this through before coming up with a life changing idea. Good for you. I’m only talking about those who spontaneously come up with an idea as a result of societal pressure. Haven’t we observed enough failed resolutions to learn that they never work?

What works is to create a vision for yourself on any given day. Where do you wish to be in 1 month, 3 months or a year or more. Set some goals to get to that vision. Better yet, write down concrete steps that will get you there. Imagine yourself already there and experience the feeling that comes with the experience. Review the tasks you wrote down on paper regularly. Take action on them. Also, it’s best to tell no one about them until you’re very near to accomplishing the vision to avoid negative comments from those around you. The last thing you need is to get distracted by negativity when you are plowing through towards your aspiration. It’s personal, this vision of yours. Own it. Make it yours, and no one else’s. Genuine aspirations are more likely to take shape in reality when kept as secrets; hence why divulge them as resolutions for the sake of this one day out of a year?

My point is resolutions are not a matter of spitting out words. It’s a matter of carefully and creatively designing how you wish your life to be. An artist starts with a vision before he executes. Great painters go so far as to have that zap of inspiration before creating that vision. There are steps to take before launching a resolution. Let’s not minimize the process of creating life aspirations for ourselves by making them superficially in the guise of a New Year’s resolution. If you’re going to have an aspiration, go full out with it. Otherwise, you’re short-changing yourself and merely causing a self-imposed misery and disappointment when your resolution goes nowhere by the end of the year.

You’ve had enough of failed resolutions. It’s time to stop making them.

As published on Medium.

Marinel DeJesus