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Has There Been A New Year's Resolution Backlash In 2017?

10/01/2017 13:59

They say that if you're ever struggling to come up with ideas for your New Year's resolutions just write out everything you did the night before and add the word "stop" at the beginning.

Not that it really matters. It's usually at this time of year that we've all given up on our objectives, let slip with one glass of wine and then four more that send your cravings for a cigarette over the pain threshold and uncontrollably heighten your desire for late night food. Happens every year, right? Yet there could be change in the air.

2016 was a dire year all told, but if there was one silver lining it would be that we have emerged a more enlightened people because of it, particularly when it comes to the more important things in life. As we laid iconic celebrities to rest and watched the world teeter towards global catastrophe we were constantly reminded of two things; that life really is too short, and that we must live every day as if it was our last.

Which is perhaps why it should come as no surprise that the start of 2017 has been marked by a backlash against age-old resolutions that we so often haphazardly commit to on the first day of the New Year. For every fad diet and money saving hack posted by brands on the first week of the month there has been an equal amount of anti-resolution posts. People are tired of been told what to do and are starting to see a lot more sense in simple, age-old solutions to get our lives back on track, and you don't need the turn of the year to remind you that eating well and exercising more will probably shed as much weight as the 5:2 diet.

So is January 2017 the end of dry January? Is it the end of pre-work spin classes and weekend palates? Juice diets and daily spending caps? Uber budgets and Deliveroo bans? There is certainly a shift towards eschewing much of this nonsense, however what seems to be happening is that people are moving towards more "worthy" resolutions - and they are the ones most likely to last.

This year's top 20 New Year's Resolution made for some interesting reading. The list, compiled by Travel Republic and based on a survey of 2,000 British adults, found long-term goals such as travelling more and visiting new countries came above eating more healthily and even changing jobs. Interestingly the list continued the "mind fit" trend that we saw emerge at the start of last year, where people rank managing sleep, stress and general mental health alongside their physical wellbeing, as well as promoting longer-term and more manageable goals.

What this seems to show is that we are far less flippant in our approach to New Year's resolutions. It is no good, after all, coming up with five resolutions but only sticking to one of them. As most good managers will tell you the key to achieving your objectives is to make them achievable. But in the case of New Year's resolutions, I think it's more the case that to make your objective achievable you have to make them meaningful.

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