The What, Where, and Why of New Year’s Resolutions

Studies show that about 80% of Americans who make New Year’s resolutions abandon their resolutions in February due to various reasons, including having unrealistic goals, loss of motivation, lack of social support, and poor implementation strategy. Achieving New Year’s resolutions generally boils down to two things. Firstly, the resolutions must be feasible. Secondly, you must be ready to pay the price to achieve them.

Where Did New Year’s Resolutions Originate?

This custom started about 4,000 years ago in Babylon. At the time, Babylonians used to make resolutions for the New Year during a 12-day celebration held in March, which was by then the first month of the year. Today, making New Year’s resolutions is a popular practice across the world.

What Was the Motivation?

Babylonians’ New Year’s celebrations entailed making promises in an attempt to curry favor with their gods in the New Year. The common resolution was to get out of debt and return borrowed items. They also pledged their loyalty to the reigning king or crowned a new one.

Is Setting New Year Resolutions Once a Year Sustainable?

Studies reveal that only about 8% of people manage to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. One reason for massive failures is the lack of sustainability in the resolutions made. Weight loss is one of the most common resolutions that people make for the New Year. To achieve your weight loss goal, you must be able to uphold a certain lifestyle throughout the year without harming your health. Specifically, incorporating gradual changes in your lifestyle that are realistic, say, reducing your portions instead of eliminating certain foods, can be more sustainable for your weight loss journey.

Depending on how you approach it, setting New Year’s resolutions once a year may or may not be sustainable. In general, short-term goals are typically easier to achieve than long-term goals. Therefore, to make New Year resolutions sustainable, experts recommend breaking them down into a series of short-term goals starting with the easiest. For example, if you resolve to quit smoking, a better approach would be to set monthly goals towards this. You can start by reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. This will yield better results because quitting smoking abruptly may not be sustainable for the whole year. Also, ensure you make monthly reviews and assessments to track your progress. Over time, you will be able to take your goals higher and eventually quit smoking.

What Kind of Resolution Is Ideal?

When making New Year resolutions, most people focus on the end goal instead of the process. One of the problems of an outcome-focused approach is that it can cause you to feel inadequate and overwhelmed, making it difficult for you to achieve your resolutions. Instead of focusing on the end result, focus on the everyday actions you need to do to attain your resolution. For instance, to live a healthier life, you will have to start with small things such as drinking water, meditating every day, exercising twice a week, and limiting alcohol intake. Also, ensure you only make resolutions that matter. To make ideal resolutions and achieve them, do the following:

  • Commit to the process, not the goal
  • Focus on the effectiveness of performance, not planning
  • Make resolutions for the right reasons

An ideal resolution would allow you to focus on the process rather than the end goal.

Can we add a paragraph about accountability?  Ask a friend or family member to help keep you accountable.  Ask someone to be your NYR partner and do it together.  basic tools for tracking progress.  ???

Additional Resources

New Year’s resolutions should be process-oriented rather than results-oriented. If you’d like to explore more about vitality and living in your prime, contact Genesis Performance today. We will help you incorporate sustainable techniques to optimize your health and vitality. We help clients across the nation virtually and are ready to help you get started today.

Jenna Dillon

Founder & CEO

Jenna is an Executive Coach committed to working with high performing individuals and companies who are up to exploring what they’re capable of achieving within their lives, careers, company culture and leadership. She is passionate about empowering her clients - standing with them and for them - so they have the tools to create extraordinary results.