5 Reasons Not To Set New Year’s Resolutions


The new year gives many people inspiration to begin a new life journey or make changes that maybe you weren’t ready to make in the previous year. For many people, that means setting a New Year’s Resolution.

Some people may not even have intentions to set New Year’s Resolutions until they see others doing it on social media. “People tend to set unreasonable goals or unrealistic expectations when a new year comes along,” said Christianne Kernes, licensed therapist and co-founder of mental health app LARKR. “When we don’t meet those goals or expectations, we feel worse or anxious. Sometimes we may even feel like a failure.”

Here are 5 reasons why shouldn’t lose sleep over meeting your New Year’s resolutions goals. Or honestly, why shouldn’t set them at all.


Try to aim for a healthier lifestyle, not just a fitness goal.

Many people feel inclined to start a new fitness journey when the new year starts. From the pressure to begin an aggressive gym schedule to drastic juice cleanses, sometimes these extreme changes only let you down in the end. Instead of focusing on looking a certain way, think of it as just making healthier decisions that you’ll stick with. We all could eat a little healthier and exercise a little bit more. However, don’t make changes so drastic that you are forcing yourself to do it every day. It should feel more natural and fit into your current lifestyle.

You should be more present in the moment.

New Year’s resolutions are all about what you want to be or feel or look like in the future. What about how you feel right now? If there are things you want to change, start slow and simple. Ease into things and make your progress a day by day goal. Appreciate the little things and the small ways you encourage yourself to do better each day.

Allow yourself room to mess up.

Nobody is perfect no matter how hard we try to be. Some days we fall short of our goals or we may even take a step back. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them. If you mess up one day, take it as a lesson learned and try again the next time. Don’t focus so hard on a goal that it makes you feel more pressured than inspired.

Live more stress free.

Sometimes it feels great to just do nothing. If you really think about it, New Year’s Day is just that, another day just like any other. If you really want to make a change, you don’t have to start or stop on any particular day. Life can already be hard enough, why make up a new resolution to keep up with anyways?

It may not be a good time for you.

If you are already juggling many things and feeling overwhelmed, this may not be the best time to force a new resolution on your plate. Don’t pressure yourself into making changes that you aren’t ready for just to keep up with everyone else.

If you have decided on making lifestyle changes, Kernes suggest starting with SMART goals.  

“I believe in setting SMART goals, and not specifically doing it around the new year but practicing it all year long,” said Kernes. “Setting reasonable and realistic goals helps to minimize the feeling of guilt and failure. Start small and build up on your accomplishments one day at a time.”

SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive. Also, learn to practice self-compassion. If you miss your goal, don’t beat yourself up. Life happens, but it does not make you a failure. Sometimes you may miss goals because you’ve set them too high. That may be a good indicator to make adjustments.

Whatever lifestyle changes you choose to make or not make, be sure that you make those changes to make yourself happy. Always remember that each day is a new day for a new beginning, not just on New Year’s.


This piece was authored by Christianne Kernes, a licensed therapist and co-Founder of mental health app LARKR.