Work_New_Year_Resolutions_raganRight from a very young age (read teenage years) I personally found the whole concept of making a resolution on New Year quite odd. My rationale was that if I had to do something and knew that it was important, then why wait till the New Year to actually resolve to do it. Wouldn’t I be better off by making a plan around what needed to be done and get started right away?  The whole business of waiting for January 1st to arrive, and then go ahead and make a mental resolve to take action on the resolution simply didn’t make sense to me at all.

NewYearFor example, if an obese person wanted to lose weight, then wouldn’t he be better off by reducing his fatty food intake and start exercising right away rather than wait for Diwali and Christmas season to go by and then start his fitness regime from January. I mean, it is common knowledge that the festival season, which in India runs from approximately October to November is when calorific excesses are at their peak. The obese person would be better off with a fitness regime in these months rather than starting off from January.

Or let’s take another example, this time, that of a smoker. If he wanted to quit smoking then why would he have to wait for New Year to do so? I mean, he could easily avoid the ‘wafting in holy smoke’ situation that would be an inevitable result of the drunken binge during the Christmas and New Year parties that he would have to attend. His lungs would obviously thank him for not having injected more tar, nicotine and 300+ other carcinogenic substances during these nights, right!

NewYearResolution_newyorkerThat being said, there are some areas in which New Year resolutions might actually help people stay on top of important things they need to keep in mind. From a professional perspective, resolutions such as staying more organized at work, keeping track of all the tasks to be done, becoming more meticulous at filing, these are some examples where actually New Year resolutions might work well.

In fact, there is this popular thought process where management gurus, motivational speakers and their ilk actually propagate the idea that writing down New Year resolutions, printing them out in fairly large font and actually putting them in one (or more) places where we get to see them everyday will increase our chances of sticking to them more. This, I personally think is a good idea where our resolutions are fairly simple and have a clear cut ‘cause and effect’ relationship, ie, the resolution is clear enough and our actions/inactions directly result in positive/negative action towards the same. The challenge here though is to be precise, concise and sharp enough to make the resolution at most 7-8 words long, and crystal clear enough to drive home the message everytime we see it.

To conclude, there probably is no one correct answer to the question as to whether New Year Resolutions are useful or not? It all depends on how badly the person wants (or does not want) a particular thing and how far this persons is willing to go to get (or get rid) of the end objective.

NewYearResolutionAs for me, since I don’t make New Year Resolutions per se, I haven’t had to face a situation where I am happy for having achieved it or unhappy for having missed it.


All images in this post are sourced from Google Image search results for “new year resolutions”

55 thoughts on “Resolved

  1. New Year Resolutions — I once did an entire article on it and I guess I can use it again today on my blog! Personally I too have not been fond of making resolutions so here I am with no resolutions! Happy New Year to you

  2. As a teenager, I used t make many New Yeat resolutions, only to break them within days. As I grew up I found it like making fun of myself and then I resolved not to make any resolution at least on a New Year. As you mentioned, if we badly want to make something happen, we don’t have to wait for a ‘muhurtham’ like New Year. 🙂

    • @Rekha, precisely my case as well, when I was younger I used to diligently make up New Year Resolutions, write them down somewhere and track them promptly for almost 15 odd days, and then something or the other would catch up with me and the list of resolutions would immediately find its way at the very back of the shelf where it was kept and promptly forgotten as well.

      Nowadays, every day is a new beginning and every hour is the start of a resolution if I am serious about it 🙂

  3. I too never make any resolutions.. I think we can try and make them anytime of the year, why only at the beginning of it??

    • @pratikshya2, absolutely my point as well, if we want to do something badly enough and have decided to do it, then why wait till New Year, why not do it right away 😀

  4. I am big on resolutions. I like to take things one at a time and hence when the year begins, I wish to make a mental not of things I want to achieve the year through. Its never a ‘printed sheet in large fonts stuck at noticeable places’ I still manage to bear in mind how I want to take the year on. That gives me a direction and enables me to focus on what I feel is lacking since the last year. And hence a ‘New’ year for me each New Year.

    P.S. : I don’t think I am perfect 🙂

    • @Kajal, you are one of the few people that I know of who actually manage to keep their focus on their Resolutions and take positive action on the same by keeping themselves motivated through the year for the same. Love how you manage to articulate the fact that resolutions help you give direction and help you focus on achieving them 🙂

    • @Proactive Indian, quite a few years ago, I guess, but that doesn’t detract me from having ‘resolutions’ per se, it’s just that I don’t wait for New Years anymore, that’s all 😀

  5. You dropped a bomb on festive binging and I am glad you did it on the 2nd of January – when the party is over and nothing but cleaning up the litter left to do. 😀 I am with you that there are no clear answers, and that it would do people good to make and keep resolves other than at the turn of the year. However, I wonder if they will resolve at all in that case? Also, I wonder if they are promising to smoke less and eat lesser for their sake they will keep that promise beyond 15th of January, or till the next wedding season – whichever comes first. 😉
    A great reality check on the second day of the new year! I don’t make and hence don’t break my resolutions, I once resolved to grow taller, but Biology lessons told me it’s genetics so I gave up immediately. 😛

    • @Sakshi, it wasn’t my intention to be the ‘party pooper’ or anything like that, but it’s just that I saw way too many blogs with way too many resolutions, and to be honest, I personally thought that most of the resolutions were either way ‘too ambitious’ or ‘too simple’. The point I tried to make through this post was that why wait till the New Year to take these ‘too simple’ resolutions, what prevents people from resolving then and there and putting it into action right away, that’s all 😀

      As for you growing taller, you already are taller than you are by virtue of your wonderful posts, keep writing more of them and you’ll grow taller than a 6 foot giant 😉

  6. When its about changing habits or growing up – one should never wait for a date to start. It has to be just started. I make resolutions on the basis of deadlines else, i will keep on working on the resolutions without any real improvement.
    Resolutions for me is not about starting its about ending & growing oneself. 🙂

    • @Praveen, that was precisely the point I was trying to make through this post. Why wait for a New Year day to start making resolutions and plans, why not do them right away 🙂

  7. Errr…I always make resolutions and always break them. Its like being in the spirit of the season no? :):) Wishing you and family a super Happy New Year

    • @R’s Mom, yes, it is so being in the spirit of the season to make resolutions and break them probably 15 days into the year 🙂 Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a happy fulfilling prosperous and healthy 2014 😀

  8. As far back as I can remember, I have never made any New Year resolutions. My logic is the same as you mentioned, why wait for a specific date to start or do something. When I feel the need to change or do something, I take it up right away! Good luck to the 4 of you for continuous blogging this year!

    • @Rachna, glad to see that your viewpoint on New Year resolutions matches with mine, maybe great minds do think alike 😉 And thank you so much for the kind words of encouragement for Project 365, really appreciate it 😀

  9. Agree completely! Never saw the point of making resolutions at the start of the new year, every day is a new day, why not resolve at that moment rather than wait for months to do so…. sounds rather superficial doesn’t it?
    Btw on a completely different note, from your FB profile I got to know your professional side… JOs…ageing SOs…utilization and allocations and that dreary ESA… that was part of the madness that made me run away 🙂 Kudos to you to live with that and consistently blog, that too so well!

    • @Seeta, looks like you have been on the Ops side of CTS as well 🙂 Good to see someone in the blogosphere who understands my professional drudgery on a daily basis 🙂 In fact it is only this writing that I do as part of blogging that keeps me going on most days of the week 🙂

      Regarding the point about resolutions, completely agree with you on that. What’s the point of waiting for Jan 1st to arrive if you are convinced of a plan of action. You might as well put it into action immediately 😀

      • Yes, did it for sometime.. was with CTS for 7 odd years before the itch got to me 🙂 and yes, completely understand, bloggers should touch your feet given what nightmares you deal with everyday at work and despite that .. write!:P

      • @Seeta, it is not that bad and for sure I don’t want anybody falling at my feet or anything like that 🙂 I have to confess that I am ‘manically obsessed’ about blogging which keeps me going despite all work pressures and the such 🙂 That’s all.

        Thanks for being a regular reader and commenter of the blog though, truly appreciate that 🙂

    • @Roshan, as long as you put together a workable plan of action and follow it up with relevant positive action, am sure you will achieve the desired results. All the very best in your weight loss endeavor in 2014 🙂

  10. Agree, for certain things one need not wait for a specific day or date to bring about the change. Start whenever the realization hits. And yes, writing them down brings more clarity, a purpose with a sense of responsibility. I am keeping it very simple this year and just want to walk every day!!

    • @Shilpa, while I am all for writing down resolutions and following it up with action, the only point I was trying to make was ‘why wait for New Year’s Day to take a resolution and take action on that?’ 🙂

      Here’s wishing you all the best in your walking endeavors in 2014 🙂

  11. Let’s see…where do I start. My only motive behind making resolutions was to keep people off my case. Needless to say, that didn’t really help. It just backfired when I didn’t follow it through. so yes but something I still do make them, as a challenge. There’s nothing auspicious about the 1st of the year. It’s just a day as any other. But sometimes, having a set date helps. Lovely post Jai…..way to go

    • @Sid, yes, I used to make resolutions to keep my parents off my back when I was a teenager and can completely relate to that mindset 😉 As for dates, I would rather use an end date rather than a start date as most New Year resolutions do 🙂

  12. Very well written J! I agree with you completely. There is no point in waiting until Jan1st to do something that is calling out for attention. I guess we all can do or implement whatever we want throughout the year, but during Jan1st it becomes more prominent as many others are doing it as well. And again, there is no point in making resolutions you know will not work out for you. If a person is a night owl and makes a resolution that he will be early to bed and early to rise, it would be a failure for sure.

    Loved the C&H comic strip 😀

    • @greenboochi, you hit the nail on the head when you say that there’s no point in waiting for Jan 1st to do something that is calling out for your attention, and I absolutely detest this mob mentality when it comes to making resolutions as well 🙂

      And C&H strips are for all seasons and all reasons, aren’t they 🙂

    • @Suzy, I like ‘go with the flow’…in fact I love ‘go with the flow’, it has worked wonders for me so far 😀

  13. Firstly, its my favorite strip. Second…I have been talking on similar lines. I agree that you don’t need a muhrat to lose weight or quit smoking.

    • @Sugandha, yes, C&H is almost everybody’s favorite strip, I still have to meet anybody who doesn’t like it 🙂

      Like the use of the word ‘muhurath’ to describe the start of New Year resolutions 🙂

  14. may be every year, same day you can take up a new challenge and change yourself. its easy to remember one day, when everybody is trying to make something positive around??

    • @ashreyamom, yes, that is true, with all the positive energy around New Year resolutions, many of us take our resolutions as well, but the fact remains that just like the many resolutions which don’t last beyond 15th Jan, most of the times even our resolutions also lose steam around that date, don’t they 🙂

      If however, you are a person who takes resolutions seriously and follows them up with positive action, then why wait till New Years’ day to take action on these ?? 😀

    • @Vishal, trust me when I say this but you have lots of company across the world in not being able to keep New Year resolutions 🙂

    • @Richa 🙂 Five is quite a number of resolutions, and I love the fact that you are refreshingly honest enough to accept that you don’t end up keeping even one of them 😉

  15. happy New Year Jairam. I have made resolutions very few times, but not on every year. I feel one should keep up the resolution whatever one takes!!! that’s the hardest part.

    • @Dhriti, absolutely agree with you when you say that making a resolution is easy but keeping it is the toughest part 🙂

      I don’t know if you know but I have started a collaborative blog with three other wonderful blogger friends of mine. Please do check out when you have some time and if you like it, start following it and share the link with readers who might be interested.

  16. There was a time when I just gave it all up – now I don’t make resolutions – but just use the New Year as an opportunity to focus on looking inward and get set for the year ahead, Jairam! Resolutions – or not keeping them, can lead to guilt!

    • @Corinne, so true, making serious resolutions after giving them thought and not being able to keep them due to various reasons can lead to guilt as well 🙂

  17. I too do not like to wait until new year to resolve something, I do it as an when needed 🙂 … Having said that I also believe that the trend of “new year resolution” acts just as a gentle reminder or an opportunity for people who need a little push towards taking a step into right direction!

    • @Sneha, first of all, welcome to the blog, and it’s great to have you commenting on one of the posts 😀 Completely agree with you that New Year Resolutions do act as gentle reminders for people to work towards achieving their goals, no doubt about that 🙂

  18. I agree why wait till the New Year to make a resolution you can’t keep! I’ve stopped making resolutions at any time of the year new or old……life is too short to live with guilt. Good luck with this new platform you’ve hosted(?) . It’s great to know that I won’t have to scour the virtual world to read some real good stuff! Keep writing.

    • @BellyBytes, well, it’s not a new platform but a collaborative effort that me and three other blogger friends of mine are undertaking in 2014. Glad to know that you enjoy our posts so much, thanks for encouraging us with your patronage 🙂

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