3 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Are Useless

As a behavior designer, I have clients wanting to launch behavior change projects around New Year’s resolutions all the time. Seems like a perfect fit, right? Wrong.   In my opinion, the New Years is a terrible time to try to make behavior changes. Here’s why (plus how to make the most of New Year’s resolutions anyway). 1. The holidays demolish our routines New Year’s resolutions date back at least 4000 years. The Babylonians, Romans, and others made Resolutions to be better people in the new year. They also both celebrated the New Year much like we do. The problem is that taking a break from regular work, spending more time with family, doing special rituals, partying into the night, sleeping in, doing special ceremonies, eating different foods at irregular times all add up to a major disruption of your regular routine. New Year’s resolutions are almost entirely about developing or breaking habits, which is about making targeted adjustments to your daily/weekly routine – a routine you’ve just spent several weeks completely messing up. 2. The holidays leave us scrambling to get back on routine Now that you’ve totally screwed up your usual life routine with a wonderful few weeks of celebration, the beginning of the new year is a period of major re-entry shock. You’re actually re-establishing lot’s of good habits you had before December started. That takes a lot of effort and willpower. Why pick this time, out of all the weeks of the year, to try to add a brand new, difficult habit? Better to start a new habit once re-entry is complete. 3. The holidays devastate our willpower The Babylonians and...