Don’t Feel Like Making New Year’s Resolutions? Ask Madeleine

Dear Madeleine,

I hate New Year’s resolutions and I don’t feel like making any this year. I have had some success with them in the past, but this year I just feel overwhelmed with everything I have on my plate. Still, I feel so much pressure to make some.

What do you think?


Dear Cranky,

I’m with you. Forget it. No NYR’s for 2020. None. Zip. Nada. ZERO. Okay?

Where is this pressure coming from? Your community? Family? Work? Your own self? Does it matter? No, it doesn’t. The pressure is totally manufactured.

Sometimes you just have to let things go. Set a new goal, go for a new habit, stop something bad, or start something good when you are good and ready and not a moment sooner.

Look, the whole construct is totally made up. Completely and totally made up. You can do whatever you want. The gift of NYR’s are that they inform you of what is really important to you.

For example, if you set the same resolution every year—let’s hear it for ”lose 10 pounds!”—it is data. It tells you that you care about it, you cared last year, and you still care this year. Unless right now, you don’t. I am still working on resolutions I originally set for January 1, 2000 because they are still important to me. I have absolutely mastered one out of the three, but they all still matter, and I still care. But it is just information. That’s all.

The number one reason people don’t achieve their goals is that they have too many of them. So. let it go, Cranky, you are off the hook. I said so.

Love, Madeleine

About the author

Madeleine Blanchard Headshot 10-21-17

Madeleine Homan Blanchard is a master certified coach, author, speaker, and cofounder of Blanchard Coaching Services. Madeleine’s Advice for the Well Intentioned Manager is a regular Saturday feature for a very select group: well intentioned managers. Leadership is hard—and the more you care, the harder it gets. Join us here each week for insight, resources, and conversation.

Got a question for Madeleine? Email Madeleine and look for your response here next week!

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