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Why you shouldn’t make New Year’s resolutions in 2021

The power of a new starting point is almost irresistible, isn’t it?

That shiny number 1, the first day of a new year, calls out for there to be a new us too.

Maybe this will be the year that it all comes together, we think. Maybe this will be the year where the best version of ourselves, the one we know we can be inside, shines through.

And maybe it starts by being kinder, thinner, or more fit.

The problem with resolutions made on January 1 is that they are over-sized goals, requiring huge changes to our routines - think COVID-sized disruption, or all -or-nothing dedication and sacrifice.

They’re often made without recognition of where we are in our lives, what challenges we’re facing right now, or the circumstances that are impacting our daily choices.

And they go against the research for how successful change happens.

New Year resolutions so often fail that researchers have pinpointed the actual day that most people have given them up by.

And it’s in January.

Just 19 days after starting them, according to research by Strava, a social network for athletes.

Making resolutions is not the best way to approach change any year, but especially this one. Even if you’re a hardcore resolution-maker, try giving it up for 2021.

Look, 2020 was hard. It was a year full of unexpected disruption and forced change.

We coped.

Some days it was messy, but we did it.

Don’t start 2021 out with self-induced anxiety or pressure for making big, difficult changes — especially when it comes to health and wellness.

Real change starts with accepting and appreciating where we are right now. For some of us that is a big enough challenge to move forward with.

From there, it’s baby steps, the kind of real, habit-forming change that doesn’t make for fun, sharable social media moments, but can help us achieve better health.

In 2021, go for the small wins. Enjoy every moment of them while viewing any losses through the lens of self-compassion and kindness.

Your future self will thank you for it.

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