Stop! Don't make those New Year's resolutions!
December 31, 2015 7:45 AM   Subscribe

Time writer Jessica Lamb-Shapiro warns that New Year's resolutions are a bad idea. The statistics are bleak: only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions stick to them, and those who don’t usually abandon them after just one week. Unrealistic resolutions are fated to fail. And it is unrealistic to think that you can immediately overcome a habit you have spent years establishing. But is this necessarily harmful? There’s a good chance that it is.

Carl Cederström and André Spicer agree. The authors of The Wellness Syndrome believe New Year's resolutions make people miserable and unhealthy (PDF only, sorry). “On New Year’s Day millions of us commit to changing our lifestyle, whether that is to stop smoking or lose weight. When we inevitably break our resolution, we experience a sense of relief or even enjoyment. Shortly afterwards however, a sense of guilt kicks in.” says Spicer.

“New Year’s resolutions create a self-destructive cycle. We start to define who we are through our lifestyle choices. The commitment to improve our lifestyle is a tragic attempt to improve ourselves. New Year’s resolutions often leave us more unhappy and unhealthy than before we made them.” adds Cederström.

New Year’s Resolutions typically involves a self-destructive cycle. ... Following unsuccessful attempts, individuals often make renewed attempts to change with a new round of goal setting. 60% of people who fail to achieve their New Year’s resolution this year, will make the same resolution again next year. On average, people make 5 attempts at a New Year’s resolution before they are able to stick with it for six months or more. Psychologically, this is called the compulsion to repeat and indicates that we try to master something that we ultimately cannot master. The reason is that it provides us with a sense of certainty, even if that certainty implies we are failures.
posted by Bella Donna (52 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Pseudonymous online canine-lupine hybrid warns that reading Time is a bad idea.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:48 AM on December 31, 2015 [12 favorites]


If the resolution is a diet, I'd would suggest not overindulging on New Year's Eve. The more sweets and junk food eaten today, the bigger the cravings will be tomorrow, especially soft drinks.
posted by Beholder at 7:49 AM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


My new year's revolution is to love myself even more and be even more awesome, if such a thing is possible. I feel like I got this .
posted by skycrashesdown at 7:51 AM on December 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


"You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is: Never try."
posted by entropicamericana at 7:52 AM on December 31, 2015 [43 favorites]


Not quite the hot take the author was intending, I'm afraid. But I do applaud anyone who wants to be healthier and happier in the New Year, even if it's only baby steps.
posted by Kitteh at 7:56 AM on December 31, 2015


The reason people fail is because they think they have carry out the resolution on the 1st of Jan, but you don't. By definition, it is something you resolve to do in the new year, so leave it until after the first week or two has passed and then do it, whatever it is.

This is why so many people fail to give up smoking! After NYE, the first thing they want on New Years Day is a fag and a coffee, and then they think, "failed already." Wait, give yourself time to adapt to the new year (and the winter) and then go for it!
posted by marienbad at 7:57 AM on December 31, 2015 [22 favorites]


I will see all you resolutioners running in the park tomorrow. I hope that you stay through the really cold mornings in February at dark o'clock. Because the glory of April running is worth being trained for.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:59 AM on December 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


23 years ago tomorrow, I resolved to become a vegetarian. It stuck.

On preview, what marienbad said is spot on.
posted by nevercalm at 8:01 AM on December 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I have to say, though, as a consistent gym-goer, I do dread the glut of new folks every January, but am always pleased to see and meet the people who stick it out.
posted by Kitteh at 8:01 AM on December 31, 2015 [9 favorites]


I've always been wary of New Year's Resolutions for myself, particularly the ones that have the kind of bigtime flavor of communist state five year plans. I'm not going to say "this year will be the year I _____" because I prefer incremental goals and re-evaluating every few weeks.

But I can't imagine saying they're generally a bad idea. Having a tradition where people reflect on what they'd like to change and come up with a plan to do it? Hell, let's do it weekly. But if not, once a year works.
posted by namespan at 8:08 AM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I refuse to give up on self improvement. My failed attempts to reach all past goals has nonetheless had very positive effects. Whether or not I get to my ridiculously thin ideal weight, for example, trying has kept me from becoming a short blimp. Trying to do three half marathons in a year got me through two. And just spotting areas that need some improvement has helped me do better.

Sometimes failure means you made ground you wouldn't have achieved otherwise.
posted by bearwife at 8:08 AM on December 31, 2015 [26 favorites]


Instead of listing an abstract goal like “lose weight,” think of specific small steps you can take, every day, that will have the same result.

I've been doing some end-of-year post-Christmas/birthday/vacation thinking, and I came up with a similar conclusion. A few years ago, I was very much into the idea of concrete, measurable goals, because it's easy to know how much progress you've made and how much further you have to go. I still think that's a good way to go, but my mindset these days has been fairly averse to numbers and planning - which I know isn't great, but I know myself well enough by now that the best way to get me to improve my habits is to start with what I'm comfortable doing right now. The ultimate goal may be to turn into Healthy, Shit-Having-Together Metroid Baby, but right now I've got to work with Lazy Metroid Baby, who is pretty hard to sway.

So, this year, I've thought about the general things about myself I'd like to improve - not necessarily drastically, but to some degree - and the short-term goal is to go about my days with that improved version of myself in mind. Every day, there are dozens of tiny ways I can act in a kinder, healthier, more organized, etc. way; the more I consciously choose them, the easier it will get, and the more I'll be able to do.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:10 AM on December 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


I dunno, it took me about a million tries to start going to the gym (13 months so far!) and two million to quit diet soda (10 months). Neither of those were New Year's resolutions, which may have helped me keep them.

But I wonder if all this depends on what the resolution is? I am not a big maker of NY resolutions, but I do often set some goals - this year, my goals are to make more time for my friends and social activities generally because I've been lonely lately and to increase my workout times. I feel like because these are vague, they're easier to follow through on. If I go from forty minute workouts to fifty minute workouts most days, I'm doing well enough; if I go out a couple more times a month, I'm doing well enough. It's not like saying "I will go to the gym every day", where you can't really make incremental improvements.

I have a sort of subsidiary "give up sugar except on the weekends" goal, but we'll see.
posted by Frowner at 8:13 AM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


(Those are really selfish resolutions! But I do other stuff in terms of volunteering, activist stuff, giving money, etc, and I try to step that up all the time.)
posted by Frowner at 8:14 AM on December 31, 2015


I'm perfect the way I am.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:20 AM on December 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have to say, though, as a consistent gym-goer, I do dread the glut of new folks every January, but am always pleased to see and meet the people who stick it out.

Back when I went regularly I would always take the first week or two of January off.
posted by ODiV at 8:21 AM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


One of my best and good-idea-havingest friends makes New Year's Resolutions at which she can't possibly fail if she tries. Last year one of them was "Be on a horse", which I like, because I think instead of setting yourself up for failure you're giving yourself a deadline to do something you'd really like to try. Like, I'm not doing this this year for some reasons of timing, but some year mine will probably be "Find somewhere I can build an igloo and sleep in it, then do that". This is something I'd really like to do someday and if I put in a moderate amount of effort I can make it happen! It's just a matter of doing it! I will feel so great if I accomplish this, and I totally can, and then for the rest of my life I can think "remember that time I built an igloo and then slept in it?".

I think using New Year's Resolutions as a way to inspire yourself to do something cool and/or try something new is way better and more likely to bring happiness then "think about how you're not good enough and fix it and if you don't you're likely to feel like a bigger failure than ever" which is what usually happens to me.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:26 AM on December 31, 2015 [22 favorites]


I made a diet resolution for 2015! It was to learn how to make all my favorite Indian dishes at home. It worked splendidly. Just had homemade matar paneer last night. I can do pretty mean homemade naan, gatte ki sabzi (chickpea flour dumplings in yogurt sauce), aloo gobi, dal tadka, and malai kofta too. Homemade yogurt and paneer too.
posted by miyabo at 8:27 AM on December 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think using New Year's Resolutions as a way to inspire yourself to do something cool and/or try something new is way better and more likely to bring happiness then "think about how you're not good enough and fix it and if you don't you're likely to feel like a bigger failure than ever" which is what usually happens to me.

Trufax, the best New Year's resolution I ever made was to get out of the house every weekend, which led to me signing up on OKCupid and Meetup just to prod myself into being social, going on nearly one first date every week for several months (they were really fun! I met people and learned about experimental theater and went to places I never would've gone by myself!), which culminated in me meeting Mr. Bowtiesarecool. Reader, I married him. CAN WHOLEHEARTEDLY ENDORSE THIS METHOD.

Frankly, even if it hadn't ended in marriage, it was still a good way to spend time and feel like I'd accomplished a goal without the self-flagellation. Aiming to do fun stuff is the best kind of resolution.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 8:38 AM on December 31, 2015 [13 favorites]


The reason people fail is because they think they have carry out the resolution on the 1st of Jan,

this is why Epiphany is a better starting date. Observe the entire twelve days of Christmas and only then consider the new year, the new epoch, truly begun.
posted by philip-random at 8:38 AM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is why I prefer harm reduction, slow steady change, and increase support and understanding for why harmful habits have been beneficial and working for you and filling those needs with healthier options in a slow and steady way. This was the philosophy Ayurveda took without having the research of harm reduction behind it, but it turns out occasionally old wisdom is at least worth exploring and testing the outcomes of. I still don't understand why we don't take more seriously the wisdom of ancient cultures as avenues for current research or entire shifts in how we view the disease process and the maintenance of health. Yeah all that some old wisdom about how many variables in your life impact your health and wellness turns out to be pretty true. The mechanisms and the details are worth exploring with research because there's also plenty of error as there were plenty of harm inducing beliefs that caused a lot of suffering that need to be dismantled (again all the more reason to dismantle them with a body of actual evidence to the contrary so they don't persist).

The entire thinking we have about bad habits as originating purely as personal choice outside the context of a persons level of physical or emotional pain, past history of trauma or adversity or coping with specific variables in the physical/social/emotional environment- is likely entirely false which means changing behavior through stronger will often will not be as effective unless you also take the time to understand why you might have needed or currently needed that coping mechanism. Personal choices are part of the picture, so sometimes it really is just about seeing what you can do and it sticks pretty quickly- so it's not to say don't try o improve your lifestyle choice, just to take it slowly and assume if it turns out to be hard than maybe there is more going on there than just not having strong enough will.
posted by xarnop at 8:45 AM on December 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


. . .only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions stick to them . . .
60% of people who fail to achieve their New Year’s resolution this year, will make the same resolution again next year. On average, people make 5 attempts at a New Year’s resolution before they are able to stick with it for six months or more.
That seems like a pretty compelling argument for making new years resolutions. The question we should ask isn't how the actual experience of a new year's resolution compares to the ideal new year's resolution. Rather, we should ask whether making new year's resolutions is better or worse than not making them. An 8% one time success rate and typical success after just five tries sound pretty good. Those are similar to the odds you'd expect in job interviews, first dates, and grant proposals, all of which are (arguably) worth doing. Unless there's real evidence that the act of making resolutions causes people to do fewer other positive things, this seems like a fine argument for making them.

As someone with a bit of a binge personality who naturally runs to extremes in most things, challenging all-or-nothing goals work great for me. While I've never done it at the new year, just about every significant positive change I've made in my life has been the result of a big resolution.

"Eat only raw vegetables for a month" and "never take an elevator for less than 10 floors" are both concrete enough that I can tell whether or not I'm succeeding and challenging enough to be interesting. "Eat slightly smaller portions at most meals" and "use the stairs more often" are both absolutely impossible to accomplish; the consequences of any individual decision are just to small to care about. Only by making those tiny decisions important by giving them the power to destroy a proud record can I overcome the laziness that would otherwise drive me back into unhealthy habits.

I do find that telling people that I've adopted self-diminishment resolutions for the new year is more fun than it probably ought to be. Last year I publicly resolved to drink more and get less exercise. I suspect I made it into the 8%.
posted by eotvos at 8:45 AM on December 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Honestly I feel like the best reason for making New Years resolutions is that umpteen years from now, looking back, you'll have this snapshot of what Late-2015 You thought was important enough to make a big public deal about.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:51 AM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think using New Year's Resolutions as a way to inspire yourself to do something cool and/or try something new is way better and more likely to bring happiness then "think about how you're not good enough and fix it and if you don't you're likely to feel like a bigger failure than ever" which is what usually happens to me.
seconded.

For the last 15 years, my New Year's resolutions have been things like, "this is the year that I will learn more about classical music" or "this is the year where I will learn how to bake bread" or "this is the year when I will sign up for an outdoor rock climbing class." Basically pick a thing that I've been curious about and just let that be the focus of my year, with no particular goal target in mind, but at least let it be a positive step towards something. Always start with something that I just absolutely, positively want to do and just give myself permission to let that be my focus for the year.
posted by bl1nk at 8:51 AM on December 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


This is a similar success rate as many findings for AA. The reason those of us who prefer harm reduction to all or nothing approaches is that the entire group of the non-8 percent are poorly served by this attitude where the first time you mess up or you realize abstinence only of the harmful behavior is not going to work there are no options to create a more stable slow change that is realistic and matches what you feel you can do at any given time.

So yeah, I do think it matters if 8 percent are well served and the rest wind up worse off and feeling even more powerless to manage their coping and pain mechanisms. Pain relief is a valid need and harmful behaviors are often filling very real needs for comfort and pain relief better than other techniques can achieve which often take longer to make an impact. Working for the longer term goals of healthy pain management and healing and understanding the underlying causes of what needs you're filling with harmful behaviors takes time and allowing the use of the harmful behavior while you add on new modes of healing and new patterns of behavior may be a more stable method of change for many.
posted by xarnop at 8:52 AM on December 31, 2015


Those are really selfish resolutions!

I'd argue not. If you feel better and stronger, you can do more for others. You really do have to put your own oxygen mask on first.

I admit that as it is you saying this, Frowner, I also object to your self-criticism. I admire you greatly.
posted by bearwife at 8:55 AM on December 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


Stop! Don't make those New Year's resolutions!

Okay! =D

The best day to start a new habit, or break an old one, is today. Right now. Whatever day "today" is that you're reading this, whatever time. Just.. start.
posted by curious nu at 9:45 AM on December 31, 2015


my resolution is to pet more dogs

no dog will go uncuddled in 2016
posted by poffin boffin at 9:52 AM on December 31, 2015 [19 favorites]


FWIW, John Scalzi's concept of secular Lent worked really well for me: a pre-defined time period in which I can make lifestyle changes which I don't have to stick to forever if they don't work. "Go to the gym every day" won't happen. "Go to the gym every day for 40 days" very well might.

So yeah, I do think it matters if 8 percent are well served and the rest wind up worse off and feeling even more powerless to manage their coping and pain mechanisms.

How did we get to "coping and pain mechanisms" from New Years resolutions? I guess if people resolve to give up crack cocaine or something for New Years, that might be an issue, but typical resolutions involve eating less and working out more. I don't leave dirty dishes on the table as some sort of coping mechanism -- I leave them on the table because I get distracted. I mean, maybe you could argue that it's serving some kind of psychological purpose ... but a lot of it is just me not wanting to put in the five minutes to clear off my table before going on to something else.

And, no, my resolving to clean up after myself isn't going to change my life. But it'll make my life slightly better, and that's kind of what a resolution is about.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 9:52 AM on December 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


"I make myself strict rules in order to correct my nature. But it is my nature that I finally obey. The result is far from brilliant." Camus
posted by mr. digits at 9:52 AM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


i will hug them on the beaches, i will hug them on the landing grounds, i will hug them in the fields and in the streets, i will hug them in the hills, i will never surrender
posted by poffin boffin at 9:53 AM on December 31, 2015 [16 favorites]



I have to say, though, as a consistent gym-goer, I do dread the glut of new folks every January, but am always pleased to see and meet the people who stick it out.


this, so much this.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 10:00 AM on December 31, 2015


i will hug them on the beaches, i will hug them on the landing grounds, i will hug them in the fields and in the streets, i will hug them in the hills, i will never surrender

Careful there. Most dogs actually do not like to be hugged. Now, if you want to greet them all with chicken bits, that's a different deal.
posted by bearwife at 10:06 AM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ever since I learned about the concept of the Uberlist from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Nikol Lohr, I have been into that idea. Just make a list of things you want to do -- big or small, fun or self-improving, incremental or grand -- and go for it.

My Uberlist includes a drop-off trip to the local consignment store in February, a no-buy week in the spring, a vow to swim in an open body of water one afternoon this summer, a trip to buy the world's tastiest Apple-blackberry-sour cream pie on Veterans' Day, and a commitment to become a CERT for my neighborhood.

Aside from a two-year maternity break, I've been doing these hundred-plus item überlists since 2004. Each list has a 65-85% success rate. Through them, I developed a weekly Economist reading habit, eliminated high-fructose corn syrup, began recycling gray water (10 years and counting), ran a marathon ... I just like the idea of a list that is all about celebrating your life and making it more awesome, not making a set of "YOU CHANGE AND IMPROVE NOW" vows.
posted by sobell at 10:10 AM on December 31, 2015 [12 favorites]


The last type of "resolution" I made was to set a reading goal for the calendar year: the first year it was 1.5 books a month, then two a month, then a book a week, and for a few years now I've blown past reasonable goal-setting without even trying so I don't even consider it to be a resolution anymore, it's just a habit that sometimes falls below pace and then surges past it to the point of stupefying my non-reading friends all without even getting close to zeroing out the book pile, I'm not sure how it's possible that the books aren't disappearing faster, it's like they're rabbits or something...

Other than starting the book goal in 2007, I no longer put off trying new positive habits so they start with the new year -- not that I think I'm better than making resolutions at this point, but I know how I'm most likely to fail and trying to start a new streak on January 1 is pretty near the top of the list. If it's good enough to start doing, it's good enough to start doing today, and it's OK to take a break for a little bit and get back into it without having to classify it as "breaking a resolution" and therefore failing mightily at it and having to deal with the corresponding baggage.
posted by phatkitten at 10:19 AM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


One of my best and good-idea-havingest friends makes New Year's Resolutions at which she can't possibly fail if she tries. Last year one of them was "Be on a horse",

This person is me! And 2015 was my second year in a row of setting achievable goals for myself as resolutions, as inspired by my late grandfather's low bar for Lenten obligations - he gave up watermelon every year ("But watermelon isn't even in season, Feb-April, Ed." "Exactly!"). In 2014 I only read books written by women, which was no trouble at all. In 2015 I wanted to go fishing and sit on a horse. We didn't catch anything any I was thrown off the horse, but doggone it I went fishing and I sat on a horse! The key is to make it something easy and unambiguous.

For 2016, I resolve to ski down a double black diamond, complete at least one project with leaflet, and make 2,016 edits to OpenStreetMap. These can all happen! Unless I don't go skiing, I guess.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 10:41 AM on December 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Careful there. Most dogs actually do not like to be hugged.

congratulations you have won the Funpire Of The Year award for 2016
posted by poffin boffin at 11:01 AM on December 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


It'll be fun if you deploy chicken bits, I promise.
posted by bearwife at 11:13 AM on December 31, 2015


My mom is already going on about how she wants to clean the house and I'm thinking, "That's never going to happen." I told her she needs a plan, she needs to possibly enlist other people (that aren't me, because she will not listen to me), and she will actually have to be willing to throw things OUT. Since the last time I helped her clean I made a giant pile of papers that were say, multiple copies of printed out e-mail forwards and she STILL didn't want to get rid of them....I don't even buy it.

Also, who the hell has the energy to actually do big lifechanging stuff when it's dark and cold and broke and miserable in January?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:32 AM on December 31, 2015


My husband and I have a slightly different take - we give the other their resolutions as a way of encouraging dreams and goals. For example, last year my husband gave me the resolution to find my own meteorite (with the gift of a rolling magnet sweeper!) and the resolution to get on the cover of a certain academic journal.

We do it on New Year's Day. It can be quite exciting - sometimes you find out you've been talking a lot about something or wanting to do something without really realizing it or strictly articulating it. Or sometimes there's a really big dream/goal in there and it's a way of saying, "I know you can do this." I also like it because it's a way to show we've been listening as well as showing we'll do what we can to support the other person in their goal. It's kind of sappy but a lot of fun.

Except for the year he asked me to resolve to stop answering the phone with "Yes, this is phone," but I don't count that as a real resolution, c'mon.
posted by barchan at 11:32 AM on December 31, 2015 [17 favorites]


The thing I don't get is how people feel obligated to participate in this ritual ......if you want to stop smoking or break that porn addiction or stop making that noise when you chew food, and the idea of packaging that as a New Year's Resolution is motivating to you, awesome, knock yourself out. But people seem to think that the entire thing is somehow obligatory on everyone.
posted by thelonius at 11:35 AM on December 31, 2015


Columnist trolls the world with a New York Times article telling everyone to stop making New Years Resolutions ---Supreme Skill!!!! Looks like the master craftsman will win out over whatever troll the rocket scientists come up with this week.
posted by humanfont at 11:46 AM on December 31, 2015


What if I resolve to be a less healthy, more miserable and unsuccessful person? I'm bound to be pleasantly surprised.

Seriously, though, I think people act like goals alone are a panacea for akrasia, but you also need to address the process. If you plan to achieve your goal in a way you'll hate every step of the way, you won't hit that goal. I became a regular runner by learning to love running, not by getting mad at myself for being out of shape.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:01 PM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


This year I resolve not to make people feel bad about whatever basically harmless social rituals they enjoy and find meaning in.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:09 PM on December 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


answering the phone with "Yes, this is phone,"
posted by barchan at 1:32 PM on December 31


I think I just fell in love.

posted by joannemerriam at 1:42 PM on December 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


My resolution for 2016 and forever is to stop putting any extra time, effort or energy into building, maintaining and nurturing relationships (in multiple ways) where I don't get a similar effort in return. Partly because it takes away from my relationships with people who already do this with me (and my time and energy is finite) and partly because I'm sick of being the person who always bends over backwards to make things easy and comfortable for other people, often to my own detriment.

I've made this resolution in the past with great success, but sometimes I find myself sliding back into my old people-pleasing ways and need to bring my focus back on to it for awhile again.
posted by triggerfinger at 2:22 PM on December 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


my one true goal for 2016 is to get a robotic soviet murder arm to replace my currently useless human one
posted by poffin boffin at 2:32 PM on December 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Tomorrow marks my three year anniversary of giving up ice cream. I've had less success with giving up other junk food (anything with corn, as an example), but ice cream is in my rear view mirror, and I no longer miss it. In fact, I'm starting to forget what it taste/feels like. Thank god.
posted by Beholder at 3:15 PM on December 31, 2015


Every year people make resolutions and statistically shown they do not complete it fully. I would suggest making specific resolutions. For weight, something like "I would like to lose 5 pounds this year." Specific enough and manageable to make a schedule for to do throughout the year. Self improvement goals like, learn a specific skill. "I would like to learn to play the piano and be able to play one song." Specific enough again to make that goal. Goals are often not achieved when too broad and theres no way of planning such a goal.

Originally my goal is to be healthier but I'll make it specific to something I will achieve. I plan to go to do 30 minutes of exercise twice a week (gym, walking, running, biking). Eat one less serving of dessert per week at work (it happens almost every day at my work). Hopefully with these two goals I can combat being healthier from both sides.
posted by kser333 at 3:37 PM on December 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


eh. I do pretty well with New Year's resolutions. But I'm boring in my goal setting-- I tend to set small reasonable goals which are clearly quantified and embedded in process and don't beat myself up if life gets in the way. (embedded in process means my goal is not "lose 10 pounds", but is instead "do not eat cookies unless I have run over 10 km".)

I usually set 5-6 goals and hit at least 4.

Last night I found out that my beloved senior cat has months at best, so my main goal this year is to take him off his diet, and shower him with greenies, expensive tuna and love every possible minute. It's only 8:30am on New Year's day here in Hong Kong and he's already annoyed with me, so my plan is clearly working. (Love the ones you love even more is never a bad goal, right?)
posted by frumiousb at 4:33 PM on December 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


My new year's revolution is to love myself even more and be even more awesome, if such a thing is possible. I feel like I got this .

My New Year's resolution for 2015 was to be more of a badass, and it was a great resolution. I would think, all the time, "What would I do in this situation if I were a badass?" And the answer was usually "say no and stop apologizing". I think my resolution this year will be "be EVEN MORE badass in 2016".
posted by lollymccatburglar at 8:17 PM on December 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


I decided that instead of a resolution this year I'd have a fascination. I think this year my fascination will be tisanes. Want to know more about them? Ask me next winter, and perhaps I shall know.
posted by instamatic at 9:01 PM on December 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


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