Harvard Business Review

Should You Even Bother with New Year’s Resolutions This Year?

Summary.   Setting resolutions often feels like a pointless exercise — something we do at the beginning of each year only to then feel guilty by February. The pandemic has only made the practice feel more helpless. Why even attempt to set resolutions when you have no idea what will transpire in the coming months? The author explains why setting an intention for yourself is still a good idea and offers practical tips on how to make your resolutions actually stick.

Even in the best of times, you may feel some ambivalence about making new year’s resolutions. On the one hand, it’s a fresh start where you’re unboxing 12 new months of opportunity. On the other hand, your past experience may have told you that it’s unlikely you’ll stick with doing anything dramatically different than before. And by February, you may have completely discarded — or even forgotten about — the resolutions that you felt so excited about at the start of the year.

After having weathered two years of never-before-seen global uncertainty, the ambivalence may have slid into helplessness. Why even attempt to set resolutions when I have no idea what will transpire in the coming months?

I hear you. And as a time management coach who has helped clients around the world navigate all the ups and downs of 2020 and 2021, I understand how there’s been a vast array of unforeseen challenges in making and keeping resolutions.

However, I’ve also seen that even in the midst of uncertainty that you really can move forward on what’s important to you. And in fact, making a resolution and keeping it could greatly boost your sense of self efficacy, i.e. your belief in your ability to take action that benefits yourself and your situation.

So before you give up on making resolutions, consider these tips on how to make resolutions that will actually stick. And allow your commitment to yourself and your goals create positive momentum in January and beyond.

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