Why You Shouldn’t Make A New Year’s Resolution

Hey guys! Today’s post comes from an ALA Alum!  Akan Nelson,  from the ALA class of 2009. He is a Senior at the University of Rochester and runs a super informative blog that will change the way you approach challenges and ties in a lot with what we learn in EL and Wellness. Keep reading to find out why he doesn’t think you should have made New Year’s Resolutions.


Simply put: New Year’s Resolutions are counterproductive.

New Year’s Resolutions don’t work because underlying all our goals, motivations, and wants is the promise of external validation.

Many of us invest significant resources into higher education, for instance, because of the promise of a job that says, “Your intelligence as signaled by this university degree confirms your usefulness to society; here’s some money to prove it.”

This is why we feel good about being employed. The financial and social validation that comes with having a job is enough to keep us working regardless of how much we enjoy the specifics of our work.

Now imagine that you could receive the financial compensation associated with being a private aircraft pilot without having to attend flying school or fly a single airplane.

With free money coming in every month would you go to work every day, or would you rent a beach house in Mauritius and live like an aristocrat?

Think about how you felt the last time you told someone about your life changing resolution for the New Year.

The culture around the New Year’s Resolution allows us to share our resolutions with friends and family, and enjoy the positive recognition that comes with self-improving before we have actually started improving ourselves.

It takes away the incentive to put in effort and leaves us with little genuine motivation to follow through with our resolutions past the first weeks of the year.

The people who are serious about making their resolutions a reality are already working, and will continue to work long after January 1st. You are one of them or you are not.

You want to slim down? You want to be more mindful? You want to achieve?

Don’t make a New Year’s resolution.

Set a goal instead!

(Click here to for a goal-setting tool by Brian Tracy).


Akan Nelson


To see more of his blog, and learn more about Akan, visit his website here


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