The Upside of Failed Resolutions

hope-streetI realize that talking of failed resolutions on January 5 might sound a little negative.  But, let’s face it.  Most people won’t follow through on their resolutions.

Stats show that a half a million people pushed snooze this morning and accomplished their first New Year’s resolution fail before week one was out.

(Actually, stats don’t show it.  I made it up.  But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the number was bigger than a half a million.)

If you are anywhere on social media, you have seen posts about resolution making take over your feed.  Beautiful lists on Pinterest, links to blog articles on Twitter (Isn’t that’s how you got here?) and, pretty soon, accounts of how quickly your friends have abandoned their resolve on Facebook.

Is resolution setting on January first a fast track to disappointment?

We have all met people who intentionally don’t make them.  Or the people who intentionally adopt anti-resolution type behaviours in an attempt to ward off the disappointment of a failed attempt.

My issue with this type of thinking: Being anti-resolution is like being anti-hope.

Resolving to improve, at any time of year, shows that you have a hope of accomplishing something.  If you are 100% convinced that you cannot improve, there is no reason to make a move for the better.  Just the act of making the resolution is a positive move.  It’s a move from lack of hope to hopefulness.

Personally, I would have a hard time maintaining hope if all of my resolutions ended in utter failure, though.  And, I don’t think I’m alone.  Obviously, we need to be smart in resolution making.  We need to know ourselves, be reasonable and be committed.

Being committed to the goal is critical.

Having said that, the plan for hitting that goal can change.  Maybe some of those failed resolutions aren’t failures at all.  Maybe they are simply calls to change the plan, not reasons to give up on the goal.

Maybe the upside of a failed New Year’s resolution is the hope that made us resolve to change in the first place.  With a goal not hit, we can still look back to the hope and set a new one.

Dear Resolution Setter,

You didn’t resolve to do something because you thought it was impossible.  So you failed.  Dust off your hope and make a new plan.

You are awesome,
Colleen flower

Image courtesy of:clcochrane

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