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Why I Do Not Make New Year Resolutions

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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I do not make New Year Resolutions.

This may be a funny thing to say at this time of year but I have my reasons.

A resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something. That sounds great. A decision has been made. A desire has been stated.

So what is the problem?

The problem with New Year Resolutions is that they do not include a plan.I do not make New Year Resolutions.

An intention is a determination to act in some way. It includes a process and a plan.

To begin to set intentions clarity is key.  It is equally important to review these intentional goals and make sure that they are S.M.A.R.T.

The SMART acronym asks for you to set intentional goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Based.

A Specific goal is an exact pinpoint of what you want to achieve. This can also be known as a resolution.

A Measurable goal is one in which progress can be clearly tracked.

An Attainable goal is something that you have the ability to achieve.

A Realistic goal is something that is possible.

A Time-based goal is logical within a reasonable time frame.


Once you have set your desire to change and your plan to do it, it is time to do one last review.

Asking yourself some simple questions can help.

  1. What do I want to change or improve in my life?
  2. Why do I want to improve this?
  3. Why do I feel this is a valuable goal?
  4. What benefits will I receive from improving this?
  5. How badly do I want to make this change?
  6. On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely am I to achieve this change?
  7. How can I increase the likelihood?

In many ways, a good new year intention starts with a new year resolution but, really, no matter what you call it what matters is that it is important to you.

I would love to know exactly what that your new year resolutions or intentions are. Please do let me know in the comments and if you enjoyed this post I sure would appreciate if you shared it on social media.

Thank You and Happy New Year!

I wish for you all a treasure trove of happy moments.

Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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26 thoughts on “Why I Do Not Make New Year Resolutions”

  1. Hi Dr. Elise,
    I know it is important to not just make a New Year’s Resolution because as soon as it get a bit difficult, it is so easy to just quit and return to old habits. However, the goals and commitment do begin with making that resolution.

    A few years ago I joined a small Facebook group with the goal to walk 365 miles in a year. The first year I fell short of the goal, but by having the intention and continually reporting my progress to the group, I did better than I might have done just on my own. The 2nd year I started out strong, slacked off a bit, and then hustled the last month to complete the miles, barely getting it done. The 3rd year I made my 365 miles several weeks before the end of the year. And this year, my goal is to walk 1,000 miles. I have one friend who challenged me to do this and we both posting our progress weekly. Today starts the 5th week and I am actually ahead of my goal. Every day I wear my Fitbit and clock the miles.

    So it is good to start with an intention but you need some sort of system of checks and balances to actually succeed.

    Dr. Erica

    1. Hello Dr. Erica –

      I agree completely that having a system of checks and balances can make all of the difference. Kudos to you on doing such a fabulous job with your walking. Your perseverance is admirable.

      Dr ECH

  2. I stopped making New Year’s resolutions many years ago…I was just making the same resolutions year and year anyway for the most part. I do sit down in mid-December to and thoroughly plan the upcoming year. I set goals for the year then drill them down by quarter, month, week and day. Thanks.

  3. I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Resolutions either. I find that most people who still hang on to that old tradition tend to end up with the same goals (that are mostly “shoulds”) on their list year after year, which is why so many are forgotten by the end of January. Another interesting trend is the One Word Resolution. I’ve known people spend weeks coming up with a word and then never do a thing with it!

    Personally, I have goals that I build on so it’s an ongoing process, though I will admit that I’ve incorporated using a theme because it works wonders to help me focus on a particular area. 2017 marks my third year using a theme and I’ve achieved more goals and created more meaningful change in that time than ever before, so this is a system that definitely works for me. Thanks for the observations and inspiration!

    1. Yes, the one word concept is certainly interesting. Some people find it very motivating whereas others go quite the opposite. I love that you have found what works for you. That is the most important of all.

  4. Hi Elise. Like you, I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t think I ever realized why they didn’t work for me until I read this post 🙂 Of course a resolution without a plan is pretty useless!

    The biggest issue I have with setting and achieving goals is that my health sometimes makes things impossible. Sometimes I think that I just want to go to bed and read for the rest of my life. However, considering the genetics in my family, it would be a long 20+ years, not to mention bedsores LOL.

    I do have goals for 2017, though. Most of them revolve around my business. I’m really excited that Google and three other companies have accepted me as an affiliate (they don’t take just anybody anymore), and I actually was approached by another company who wants to advertise on my site.

    I also want to be kind to myself by going to bed and resting when I need to. I also want to rejoice in the things I’m able to accomplish and stop feeling guilty about the things I can’t do. Plus have an attitude of gratitude every day of 2017. Thanks for a wonderful post.

    1. I am so pleased that you found this post useful.

      You absolutely should listen to the needs of your body and rest as needed.

      Congratulations on the excellent news about Google and all. You are off to a beautiful start for the year.

  5. Hi Elise

    You are so right which is why New resolutions have never been effective because they lack a plan and process.

    A resolution should be backed with a plan of action because that is what matters. Thanks for sharing. Take care

  6. I don’t set new year’s resolutions either. I set goals for all areas of my life, and then go about planning the action steps I need to take to achieve them. I’ve found that works much better than setting one big goal and never getting anywhere close to making it happen.

  7. Hi Elise

    As the saying goes; if you fail to plan it means you plan to fail. It shows the importance of planning any kind of activity. Many people complain of failing despite doing a lot of hard work. They actually do without any plan so their failing is natural.

    My plan for this year is to give a big boost to my email list to expand my business. I am sure I would put it into action and then convert it into a big success.

    Many thanks for sharing this very thought provoking post.

    Have a great rest of the week

  8. Likewise…. I don’t set New Years Resolutions, because in a way my whole life is a resolution to build my online business, and I just get on with it.

    I work a little bit on it every day, but that’s not a resolution because I’ve done it on 99% of the days since I started building an online business.

    Like Mandy, there isn’t anything I want badly enough that I’m not already working on – but at my own pace, which makes it more achievable!

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

  9. Good Morning Time Elise!

    I have never been one to set new year resolutions, but I always grab my journal on the 1st of Jan and set that BIG Goal! Then I break it down into little monthly goals! I also like to write down a few things that are important for me to do to reach those goals. I do think this helps to keep me accountable.

    Great Share My Friend
    Chery :))

  10. I completely agree, no plan means no action! I also do not make new year resolutions, partly because I can never think of anything I want enough to get on with it! And a lot of them seem quite unachievable to me. So many people set themselves something they will never get to do and then feel disappointed with themselves when it doesn’t happen. I like to set my self targets that I can achieve rather than ones I can’t. Happy New Year to you!

    Enjoy the journey!

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.