I've talked before about how I don't usually like New Years and I think part of that is the bad rap that New Year's resolutions get. Having goals and things you want to change is essential, but New Year's resolutions come off almost as a recurring joke. For the past couple days, I've been thinking a lot about this subject since it's right around the corner and trying to put my finger on why it is that I don't like resolutions for the New Year. Granted, I am positive that there are people who make great resolutions and stick to them, but there are always two sides and this list is what I've come up with as to why New Year's resolutions are bad.
1. Expectation of breaking them
Whenever you tell someone you have made a resolution, there seems to be an inherent expectation that you won't be sticking to that particular goal. Gym attendance illustrates this perfectly and everyone notices. Good luck getting your usual gym routine in on time in January and February, but come March, you'll have it to yourself again. I even saw an NPR story today about gyms apparently not expecting people to come in when they sign people up.
2. Lack of specificity
You'll often hear that one of the most important parts of setting goals is to make it specific as to what you want to achieve and in what timeframe. To me, New Year's resolutions have no real timeframe and that is one of the biggest downfalls. If I say, "I want to exercise more in the new year," that's all well and good, but how do I know if I've done what I set out to do? I know from experience that if I don't give myself a hard deadline, I'll screw around and not get what I wanted out of myself which is why I tried to apply hard deadlines to my most recent round of running goals. Giving myself a backstop also makes me more likely to be stubborn and try to show myself up by doing it ahead of time.
3. Delayed start
Almost in opposition to my last point by having a start date that's TOO specific. If you're waiting to work on something in the new year, why not just get a head start and work on it when you start to think about it while you have a clear goal in mind? To me, waiting until the New Year specifically, is wasting time that could be spent working towards the goal that you're setting.
As I said before, this is just one opinion on the subject. If you think I'm horribly wrong or even if you agree, let me know by sending an email or posting a comment down below! All that being said, this time of year does yield itself to thinking about things that you want to accomplish so hopefully I might help someone avoid a pitfall that I've had happen with resolutions for a new year.
This will be my last post for 2014 and also my 20th entry (woo!). I'll see you back here in 2015 to keep on running and drumming!