Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions – Dottie Herman

Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

It happens every year. People start off the New Year by making resolutions. Some want to lose weight, others want to grow their business and still others are looking for their soulmate and by God, this is the year they’re going to make it happen.


Not so much.

You see, I’ve never been a huge fan of making New Year’s resolutions. Why? Studies show that in general, at least 50 percent of people who make them, don’t stick with their resolutions, and one third don’t get past the end of January, which makes them a set up for failure right out of the gate. Successful people are always adjusting, adapting and making corrections along the way. Unless you want to do the thing you’ve resolved to do more than the thing you’re currently doing, you won’t do it. It doesn’t matter if you pledge to increase your productivity or decrease your weight. To succeed, the benefits must be greater than the pull of your existing habits and the excuses that are keeping you there. It’s really that simple. As they say, old habits die hard. It’s important to understand that if you make resolutions, keeping them isn’t just about discipline and perseverance. Sure, they help but for me, the real success and value is seen in making ongoing commitments that tap positive motivations. The New York Times recently published an article on compassion and gratitude as being two very strong motivators for change. In other words, people who consistently keep commitments are motivated by believing that doing this gives them something they really want. From my point of view, discipline comes from doing what you love—not what you have to do or worse, don’t want to do. I love real estate, and the positive feeling I get from helping others achieve their career goals. Hope, enjoyment and promise are my motivation. Discipline, willpower, these words always feel so restrictive, as if we are giving something up to get what we want. If we can stop thinking about what’s missing or what we sacrifice and focus on what we have and can achieve, there’s a good chance you will do the things you love and enjoy you will always find benefits that resonate with you.

I’ve got a great idea. This year I challenge you to give up resolutions. Rather than rushing forward in a panic to set resolutions or a list of goals you can start on New Year's day, forget all that and enter the New Year in a new mode of being absolutely present, and absolutely positive about how great it's going to be. Go into the New Year accepting that you are exactly where you need to be. Enter the New Year with zero pressure to do anything other than remain open to the possibility of your potential, receptive to change and ready to show compassion to yourself for any shortcomings. Isn’t the start of a new year supposed to celebrate a feeling of release, newness and freedom? Stop living in a world of what if and start celebrating what is. Out of the state of being will arise all the doing, and achievements you never planned for but will be amazed to see unfold.

1 Comment

  1. Jack Shelgren says:

    I love your twist in new years resolutions, Ms. Herman! People get discouraged by the big goals: lose 20 Lbs, get the new job, buy the new house. Focusing on what you have and showing gratitude makes people live in the present, and opens them up to those aha moments that lead to real positive change. Awesome!

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