NY blues: are resolutions good for you?

Time to resurrect a New Year’s post from three years ago …

As 2013 rapidly approaches, thoughts may have turned to all sorts of resolutions for the new year: ‘I must lose weight’, ‘I will refrain from alcohol’, ‘I will do more exercise’ … Long (and many) lists of dos and don’ts are underway. Endless promises to change/improve – often within impossible timeframes. But do we expect too much of ourselves? Do partially achieved resolutions push us back into old patterns of, perhaps, a sense of failure and low self-esteem? Do we really want to change at all? Of course, I’m always in favour of positive life changes, but my feeling is that some of the permanent changes you wish to achieve should be eased into over a longer period of time. Here are some suggestions that may help.


  1. To start with, free yourself from long lists.
  2. Now focus on achieving something small today that makes you feel good. Don’t worry about tomorrow, or the next day, or the next.
  3. Finally, keep your daily targets achievable, praise yourself at the end of each day for those achievements, and begin each new day with increasing confidence that you can continue to build on those small achievements.

Slowly, slowly, small changes become new ways of living – ways that make you feel better about yourself and ways that offer positive and health-giving changes. A peaceful and stress-free new year to all.

text © wellbeing practitioner 2012
photo © lynn therese brown 2012