• Gavin Bates
  • 8 January 2013

Resolutions are for life, not just for New Year…

Every January lots of people all around the world make resolutions to do something differently or better in the coming twelve months and, almost as soon as they’ve made them, everyone else is waiting for them to break them. This is no great surprise given that most resolutions don’t last any longer than the first few weeks of January and, according to a 2007 study by the University of Bristol, 88% fail.

Ultimately, every year we seem the same cycle of people set up to not succeed.

Regardless of the outcome it takes something to stand up and say openly ‘I want to be better’ or ‘I want to achieve more’, especially when you are likely to face public scrutiny if you don’t achieve your desired objectives.

Waiting until 1 January to make a resolution, however, does suggest that there is no real commitment to it, otherwise, why wait? Why is January 1 any better than August 14 for making a commitment to transform? Resolutions are ‘someday, one-day’ conversations, something that keeps getting put off.

For a real commitment to exist it has to be lived, in the now, not ‘someday, oneday’. You have to be it, and not by making lists which say, for instance, ‘I will go to the gym every Friday at 8am’ because what happens when the routine is broken and you can’t make it at 8am that coming Friday? A commitment is bigger than that. A commitment to be healthy, for example, means that when faced with a choice about being healthy or non-healthy you choose to be healthy because you are committed to doing so, not because you feel you ‘ought to’. Resolutions come from the world of ‘I should do this’ and all that does is create a stick to beat yourself with. That’s what resolutions have become – things you feel you should do that, when they breakdown, are embellished as a sign of failure.

You'll know when you are committed to something and when you are not. When you are you will enjoy it and it will be part of who you are, and even when things become tough you will enjoy the challenge.

What makes us human is the fact that our very humanity is an issue for us and, as such, we constantly seek to reinvent and improve ourselves, which is amazing. All of us are already exceptional with the capacity for outstanding things and yet we continually push.

So whilst resolutions may not ‘work’ on the level they are intended to, it is reassuring to see so many people want to transform. When we all realise we can have whatever we want, without making resolutions, just by living our commitments now, that is when the real magic will happen.

Happy New Year everyone.