new year's resolutions monthly resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions Are so Last Year: Try Monthly Resolutions

By Carson King
Updated: December 28, 2020

“New year. New me. Same dreams. Fresh starts.”
– Unknown

Humans (can be) such dumb creatures.

Remember that quote by Einstein? “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” 

Yet, year after year, we try the exact. Same. Things.

On a random weekday, in the middle of winter, just days after Christmas, we attempt to completely change our lives . . . why?

Because a calendar.

A dumb, non-intelligent piece of paper, is telling us—and the entire world population—”when” to set our major goals. Are we really too stubborn to choose a day for ourselves? And why only once a year? Is a number on a piece of paper really the greatest link between us and the world of personal development?

80% of all New Year resolutions fail by February. Hardly two months later.

This is completely unacceptable.

So . . . what’s the answer?

Divide your year into twelve different categories, one for each month. Instead of one massive 365-day resolution, we space our goals throughout the year. The data doesn’t lie—and it says monthly resolutions are far superior.

Monthly resolutions allow:

  • More personalized goals
  • More flexibility throughout the year
  • With Parkinsons’ Law, goals are completed more quickly on average
  • Greater motivation
  • Easier to plan 30-day goals, than 365-ones
  • More constant incentive to get through the “slow” months
  • More satisfying and happy life

new year's resolution monthly resolution spark

It’s hilariously sad to realize that we (as humans) have become nearly 100% dependent on January 1st for “life-changing changes.”

Remember that little voice in your head?

“Oh, next year will be better . . .” or “I’ll start next year . . .”

These blasphemous statements can be made completely obsolete by making monthly resolutions instead. Monthly resolutions, like hand sanitizer, kills “99.99% of excuses.” Instead of waiting 365 days to change your life, it’s only 30 days.

That’s 82% quicker. 

It’s time for a resolution revolution. New Year’s resolutions, while “ok” at best, lack power and are enormously ineffective. It’s time we throw away the baby food and order some real steak.

1. New Year’s Day is a horrible day

“Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.”
– Miles Davis

new year's resolution monthly resolution snow

January 1st, is, arguably, the worst day of the year to create a “life-changing” change. Why?

  • January is only a week away from Christmas, the largest holiday of the year. This includes abnormal travel, stuffing your face with holiday truffles, and buying Christmas presents
  • It’s IN WINTER. How many people have wanted to start running on Jan. 1st only to be greeted by a sudden snowstorm?
  • It often falls on a random weekday

These are MAJOR red flags.

If we had to choose a day to completely change our lives, why not the warmer, greener days of spring? Like March 1st? Or our birthdays?

While we can’t change the Julian Calendar itself, we can change when we set our goals. Together, we can break free from the calendar, and change our lives whenever we want to.

Remember: humans make calendars; calendars don’t make people. They’re supposed to serve us, not the other way around.

2. Work by theme

“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.”
– Benjamin Franklin

When you go to school, you don’t just have a giant classroom just called “school” for eight hours. Instead you have different classes for each subject. Math, science, etc.

Same thing with months.

By splitting your months into categories, with unique goals, schedules, and objectives, you accomplish a few things:

  • You can “specialize” more deeply in those areas and give it the time it deserves
  • You can focus better
  • You can keep things interesting and fresh

The themes can be anything and everything you want.

  • Physical, spiritual, mental, social
  • A monthly “keyword” or “statement”
  • A “30-day” challenge
  • A certain goal/project

The options are limitless and extend far behind the list above. Be creative; try something new. Maybe you have a “food of the month,” or pick up a new hobby.

Who knows?

3. Analyze and adapt

“All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation.”
– Max McKeown

Each month isn’t just a “new resolution,” but also a “month conclusion.” Review your goals at the end of each month: 

  • What did I do well?
  • What could’ve been done better?
  • How did I absolutely suck last month?
  • How did I absolutely rock last month?
  • What have I learned? 

It doesn’t need to be anything special. While a secluded corner in your favorite coffee shop might be pristine, a simple note taken on your phone while on the toilet also works.

Keep it simple. Keep it clean. It may take only three minutes. That’s ok. That’s the point.

4. The first step

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
– Lao Tzu

new year's resolution monthly resolution step

Monthly resolutions are violent, exotic dragons that will either kill you or serve you.

The choice is yours.

Do you know anybody else who has monthly resolutions? It’s not a common journey. Beneath these twelve one-month resolutions lies an enormous realm of possibility.

For each month resolution, remember these three steps:

  • Planning
  • Setting
  • Reviewing

That’s all there is to it. “How” you do it is completely up to you. A journal, Google Docs, sticky notes, Evernote—whatever your heart desires. The point is, you don’t need a perfect plan right now. 

Setting goals, and improving your life, is like stepping into fog.

You don’t “wait” for the fog to leave. You see more by taking steps. By making steps, you see the road. No matter how hard you try to “map out” the fog, it’s impossible without actually stepping into it.

So take the first step.

Carson King law school blogger for Crushendo

About the author

Carson King is a content writer, author, and globetrotter. He’s volunteered internationally through various organizations and written for numerous corporations. When he’s not writing or reading, you can find him with a cup of Mexican hot chocolate.

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