Why I don’t do New Years Resolutions…

I love Calvin and Hobbes...so awesome!

As the days slowly tick off the calendar and the hours creep towards the final conclusion to 2011, many of us partake in the seemingly obligatory tradition of resolving to better ourselves in some meaningful way.  The new year promises change, a clean slate, a new beginning and we all want to believe that there is some magic pixie dust sprinkled over the big “JAN 1″ on the shiny new desk calendar that will make all things possible.  It’s always to “lose weight”, “get in shape”, “quit smoking”, “eat healthier”, “spend more time with family”…basically a big list of fixes to regretful activity from the prior year.

From 2011Resolutions.org:

Top 10 New Years Resolutions of 2012:

  1. Lose Weight
  2. Get Organized
  3. Spend Less, Save More
  4. Enjoy Life to the Fullest
  5. Staying Fit and Healthy
  6. Learn Something Exciting
  7. Quit Smoking
  8. Helping Others
  9. Fall in Love
  10. Spend More Time with Family

I don’t do resolutions.  I don’t do resolutions for the specific reason that New Years Resolutions are a response to regrets in our lives.  We blindly and thoughtlessly engage in activities throughout the year without considering the consequences of our actions.  The New Year rolls around and we feel obligated to spend time reflecting on our lives to date and try to focus on what we’ve been doing wrong and come up with how we’re going to fix it.  Then two, three, maybe 6 weeks in to the new year we lose steam and revert to our old behavior so we can resolve to change the exact same things again next year.

I have a better plan.  Don’t engage in activities or behavior you know you will later regret.  Simple, right?  Be present in your day-to-day life.  Think about the choices you are making when you make them.  Consider how these decisions will shape your life in the long-term, not just the next few minutes.  I have found that being mindful of your actions and being present in your life truly brings about a life with less regret.  To me, waiting for some magic day on the calendar to declare a change is pointless.  Change now, change always…don’t put off change when you see need for improvement.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
~Mahatma Gandhi