New Year's Resolutions Reminder: You've Got A Whole Year To Complete Them

Did you set a whole bunch of new year's resolutions this morning? Good for you. But don't be disheartened if you're not hitting your targets by mid-month. A new year means you've got a whole year to reach your goals.

Photo remixed from file404 (Shutterstock).

We've covered off a lot of detail on New Year's resolutions previously -- everything from the resolutions most likely to fail to how to use science to reach your resolution goals, but the one constant that seems to lie behind every New Year's Resolution is the idea that at some point you'll fail, give up, and decide "to do better next year".

That, to me, ignores one very powerful aspect to a New Year's resolution, and that's the fact that you don't have to have them done and dusted by the end of the first week of January. Or February, March, April, May, June... you get the idea.

I'll give you a practical example by way of the only New Year's Resolution that I set for 2014. A couple of years back, I took part in Nanowrimo, writing an action adventure novel set around the theme of exploding sharks. Yes, it was and is deliberately and delightfully cheesy, and that was the point and the fun while I was writing it.

I hit my targets with relative ease, did some light editing on the finished copy, and then... nothing. The rough manuscript sat there, gathering digital dust. Every once in a while friends of mine would ask me how the novel was doing, and I'd get slightly energised, do a little work on it, and then again let it lie.

Then in 2014, I decided that finishing and publishing my exploding shark novel, Sharksplosion, would be my New Year's Resolution. I was going to get it finished and out there for better or worse.

This didn't happen in January, February, or even for the first half of the year, although I did throw some time into cleaning it up, with an editorial assist from Lifehacker's Angus Kidman, whose insights made it a tighter and more fun story.

I finally finished up and clicked the "publish" button on December 11th, making my New Year's resolution a reality with twenty days to spare before the end of the year.

Unsubtle plug bit: You can buy Sharksplosion from iBooks here, from Amazon here and for every known eBook format under the sun via Smashwords here. Enjoy. No sharks were harmed in the making of this extremely silly book.

So if you've set a New Year's Resolution, whether it's to get fit, stop smoking, build your own moon rocket or whatever, remember that the year remains "New" right up until the 31st of December 2015. You've got a whole year, even if you do slip from your goals from time to time.

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Comments

    Whilst this approach is viable, it is inherently lazy, and as most people are incredibly crap at planning, it fails to address any issues that might pop up, nor allow for any contingencies and smacks of doing just the bare minimum.

    Whilst you could leave it to the later part of the year, why wait ? Get the task out the way and then make up some new resolutions, mid year. Why only knock off one resolution, when you could knock off 3 or 5 or, etc etc.
    Leaving it to later simply establishes the mindset of procrastination.

    Oh, congratulations on publishing your book though.

    I can see the benefit of not having New Year's resolutions tied to only one day. However, I think there is something to be said for specific days, as human beings tend to be inherently seasonal beings.

    I think there's a lot to be learned when your resolutions do fail, and I think there are some simple things you can do to pick yourself up again, such as:

    1. Write the resolution down and make it somewhere prominent
    2. Cut back your resolutions (2 achieved out of 10 is better than 0 out of 10).
    3. Review your motives - what would life be like if you only kept this resolution.

    I've fleshed this out some more in this blog post.
    http://goo.gl/TEjHQx

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