New Years Resolutions: Are They Bad?

Recently, I came across some articles about New Years Resolutions and why they are bad. In particular, the most recent (and second!) issue of Productivity Magazine has these articles.

However, I think the articles miss the point. Most of the complaints have to do with the fact that a) New Year’s Resolutions occur once a year; b) New Year’s Resolutions are usually year-long goals; c) New Year’s Resolutions are often unrealistic or “designed to fail”.

These complaints are not valid for the process itself, but how it is carried out. The resolutions – the idea that we should re-evaluate at least yearly – is a valid one.

Better yet is to evaluate our goals once a month perhaps. What do I want to change this month? What will I focus on?

Also make these goals SMART goals. If your goals do not follow these guidelines – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound – then you are destined to fail. Perhaps the first three are the most critical (SAM?) as they define the failings of most New Year’s Resolutions.

Another thing: as a proponent of GTD principles, these goals would then translate into Next Actions – or generally, things to do. Without action, the goal remains static and nothing happens. You must make a change in order to make the goal succeed.

So go make some new goals for the next thirty days and make it happen!

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