Are New Year’s Resolutions For The Birds?

SoaringBirdsOften, when a new year approaches, I get an onslaught of emails about setting resolutions. (How many did you get in your inbox?) Since I don’t make resolutions, you didn’t get such an email from me.

On New Year’s Eve day I have a tradition of soaking in a hot bubble bath, lighting candles, listening to soft music and reflecting on the year that’s ending. As the year comes to an end, do you take time to reflect? I’m guessing you do.

While many people start making resolution lists, I’m not one of them. Don’t get me wrong, for some people they work. But I have found that some people’s lists include resolutions that are simply too big so that, by the end of the year, they don’t even remember what was on their list to begin with.

IMHO, New Year’s Resolutions are for the birds because most of the time, they don’t work!

Here’s what my colleague Joel Comm said in his first post of the New Year, “99% of your resolutions won’t make it past this week. I don’t like making resolutions. I think they are packed with good intent, but they have no fuel other than the new year to make them take flight.”

I tend to agree with Joel. So here’s what I suggest. Don’t stress about New Year Resolutions. Instead choose one thing- one simple thing that you want to achieve for the first month or even the first quarter of the year (set a realistic timeline).

In Chapter 19 of my new book I write about taking responsibility for your own results—for your own success (see page 240). Don’t expect others to get you results.

Take just one step toward that one thing you wrote down. Then, another and another.

Here’s how my friend Michelle Shaeffer approached it this year. She wrote “I quit making New Years Resolutions a few years ago. This year . . . I just made myself a promise. I will not be afraid. . . . I will work every single day to be better, to do better, to learn more and push myself to become who I need to be to make a difference for myself, my children, and the world around me.”

Nice idea, don’t you think?

We can get so overwhelmed by all the “big picture stuff.” If we just ease up, have an intention, focus and move toward it one step at a time each day, I think we’ll all find – that by the end of 2015 – we’ll be soaring like an eagle and have achieved a lot more than expected.

What’s one thing you’re aiming for right now? Please share your comments here because I’d love to hear from you. Here’s to your sweet success! May an abundance of joy, love and laughter fill your heart and your home in 2015.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.


  1. I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions. What I do instead is create a game plan for the year of what I want to accomplish and then I go about making it happen. Last year I not only completed my list but surpassed it. That was a great feeling:)

  2. This post is right in line with where I’m at! I don’t make resolutions, but rather choose a motivational word for the year that sets the focus and direction in which I want to head. For me, this is a lot easier – not to mention FAR more sustainable – than coming up with a list of lofty goals. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    Laurel Regan recently posted…My 2015 Word of the Year + LinkupMy Profile

  3. I agree with you Debra. I stopped making resolutions a long time ago. I do take time to reflect over the past year. (I like your idea of doing it in a hot bath. I may have to try that next year!) After I have taken a good look at how my year went, measured against my aspirations for that year, I set goals for the coming year. Which in my opinion, are vastly different than resolutions.
    Melodieann Whiteley recently posted…Dec 18, giving backMy Profile

    • Hi Melodieann, I am finding more and more people are beginning to move away from resolutions
      Perhaps it’s because they realize they’re setting the same ones year after year and it’s time for a change.
      I think you’ll love the hot bath and candle light tradition.
      Debra Jason recently posted…Does Blogging Boggle Your Mind?My Profile

  4. New Years Resolutions are for the dogs. They should be buried underground along with the bones! 🙂

    For real, my experience has been that any New Years resolution that succeed started before the new year. You were so excited, you didn’t want to wait for an artificial start time. That’s how you know whether or not it’s real.

    Great piece, Debra. 🙂
    Larry Hochman recently posted…Empty Parking SpacesMy Profile

  5. For me I may not set New year’s Resolutions, but I am always setting goals. So I just don’t wait for a new year to do it. I am setting a goal for my business this year to reach an all time high, and I have several ideas I want built this year for the business. I am the one to set small daily goals, in order to reach the final resolution. Great post today Debra, I enjoyed it very much!

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