It’s finally here: the end of 2016. As we bid goodbye to what will certainly go down as one of the most stressful years in recent memory, people are gearing up for 2017. And you know what that means: making New Years resolutions. But while some adore the tradition of laying out their goals and dreams for the coming 12 months, others hate it with a passion. Don’t feel guilty about loathing New Years resolutions — you’re not alone. There are plenty of completely valid reasons for hating this incredibly common habit, and here are just a few.
So get ready to celebrate a brand new year (resolutions not required).
1. They usually fail
Look back at your life and think: how many New Years resolutions have you actually managed to keep? Honestly? The number is probably pretty low (and we know most of us are batting zero). If you have specific goals to accomplish (like reading more books, dropping some weight, or working on a promotion), you shouldn’t have to wait for a new year to start them!
2. They make you feel bad
There’s so much pressure to keep all your resolutions (and odds are, people make more than on). The second you screw up — like splurging a bit outside your budget or grabbing an extra slice of cake — you feel like you completely failed. That can lead you to some serious self-loathing, and giving up entirely on your lofty goals.
3. They’re annoying to hear about
Odds are, nobody wants to hear about your exciting new resolution to eat more kale. Look, self-improvement is a great thing and we’re totally here for it; but how long before your friends get tired of you going on and on about your resolutions (especially if they’ve already thrown in the towel on theirs)?
4. We aim too high
It’s very unlikely that you’re going to turn into a completely different person when the clock strikes midnight, free of all your bad habits. So filling out an entire spreadsheet of goals and aspirations isn’t a realistic plan for 2017. New Years resolutions often go that way: we think we can completely change everything we dislike about ourselves just because it’s a new year. If only it were that easy…
5. They’re too vague to succeed
How many times have you heard people resolve to lose weight, or “be a better person?” What does that even mean? The problem with those sorts of ideas is that there’s no plan behind them —they’re just vague ideas that sound nice. Most New Years resolutions are like that. If you really want to make a dramatic change in your life, don’t make a resolution. Instead, make a plan.
6. They’re unrealistic
Look, let’s be real for a minute. You may have the best intentions to eat better in 2017, but there’s no way you’re going to give up desserts cold turkey and never again let a sweet treat pass your lips. Thinking that way sets you up for failure right from the start — and from there, there’s nowhere to go but down.
7. They’re limiting
Who knows what 2017 will bring to your life? It’s hard to predict the next few days, let alone the next 365. Don’t box yourself in with resolutions that might not work for you in a few months. Want to make some changes? Work on specific goals with viable plans, and don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go quite the way you’d hoped.
Maybe the best resolution you can make in 2017 is ditching the tired old tradition of New Years resolutions!