Why I Don’t Make New Year Resolutions

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So for a person who is all about self-improvement, it might sound a bit strange to hear me saying that I don’t make New Year Resolutions!  It may well be so, however that doesn’t mean I don’t do anything.  Let me explain …


Think about what you WANT to do, then go with that.  New Year’s Resolutions are often based on what we feel we SHOULD do.  It’s what everyone else does… it’s expected… isn’t it?  Well, that really depends on your set of expectations.  If you are doing something because you feel you should then it’s going to forced, it’s not going to be comfortable.  It might be achievable but it’s probably going to be quite difficult.  If you think about what you feel you should and then repeat that sentence with the word could and see how it sounds.  Do you still really want to do it?  Maybe you will, maybe you won’t.  It will change your perspective and change your expectation of whatever you previously thought you should do!


January (in the UK anyway) is traditionally a time for hibernation, keeping warm and getting through the cold, dark days.  So, OK we’ve now gone past the shortest day and just because days are getting slightly longer it doesn’t mean that we need to go out there and be some bright bouncing invigorated way.

It’s not really quite the right time for making big changes, it’s not a natural time of growth in nature and so it’s not a natural time for growth in ourselves either.  There are plenty of other times in the year – when there are less expectations and less pressure – for you to set yourself some goals, make changes, build dreams, set resolutions.  They don’t just have to be done in January.


If we want to be consistently growing, changing, adapting then we need to be doing this little and often.  So instead of beating yourself up to “Stop this”, “Be that”, “Do More of the other” – just because it’s a New Year Resolution, try making small adjustments to your life, your plans, your goals and you’ll soon begin to notice just how achievable they are.  Whatever it is that you are setting yourself as that resolution can be a small and consistent thing that becomes second nature.

Success Rate

Apparently (according to YouGov research) about a third of New Year Resolutions don’t make it to the end of January!  Only about 10% of resolutions last the distance.  So I’m not saying that you don’t make any New Year Resolutions, just think about your timing.  Maybe there are better times for you do make changes – at the new tax year, new school year, at your new year of each birthday?  Do what you want and need to do, when you feel you are ready and that way your changes and improvements are quite likely to be more consistent and you can then bask in the success!

So if I want to make goals, changes or set targets I don’t wait until January to do it.  I make changes whenever I need to.  My life, my work, my business is constantly in review.  Not in a big way, but gently noticing.  I regularly take time to look back every now then, each month, each quarter (and each half term with my daughter) and I celebrate the success and continue along or I make adjustments to ensure my goals and targets meet the needs.

Will this help you to do things differently this year?  Let me know in the comments below.

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4 Responses to Why I Don’t Make New Year Resolutions

  1. Louise Mason 9th January 2017 at 9:59 pm #

    I love the idea of doing what you want instead of what you should. We have other people’s expectations of what we should do shoved on us in all our areas of lives, personal and business. Don’t do something just because someone else thinks you should.

    • Emma Langton
      Emma Langton 11th January 2017 at 12:04 pm #

      Hi Louise, Yes, I’m not one for being pushed around and doing ‘should’ things. I’ve been like that since I was a child actually. It can be difficult to step away from expectations though as life is full of them and we learn these things as children too!

      So pleased the blog resonated with you and thank you for taking time to read and comment.


  2. Sarah Arrow 10th January 2017 at 7:34 pm #

    I don’t make them either Emma. I’m a believer of change can happen in the moment that you decide to, so why wait for the new year? I don’t even set a “word” or a theme for the year. I just set goals and then go all out to achieve them. It works, why complicate it?

    • Emma Langton
      Emma Langton 11th January 2017 at 12:02 pm #

      Hi Sarah
      So pleased to hear it’s not just me! Yes absolutely, change can happen in a moment, and is happening all the time isn’t it. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Come back again soon!

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