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Don’t do New Years Resolutions

Getting ready to make your New Year’s resolutions?  Don’t do it! … well, at least not yet.

Imagine – Swimming 2.5 miles through open water , biking 125 miles over grueling hills, then running 26 miles in the searing heat…

then, as you cross the finish line an official says  “follow me – we’re starting your next Ironman!”

That would be exhausting, and likely not feel very rewarding.  Instead – try this:

Take a few minutes to reflect back on this last year before making your new years resolution:

1/ What are some memories that really bring a smile to your face?

[for me – coffee in the sun with my wife in Yosemite valley, and watching my son longboard with his idle California]

2/ What are some of the things that you ‘did’ achieve? (Whether family, work, or personal).

[Summiting Half Dome with Chris and Josh in Yosemite Valley, learning a new role at work, and over 10 days of rock climbing despite 2 jobs.]

3/ What’s one thing you’re most proud of? 

[my son of course – but of me? my optimistic outlook and willingness to see possibilities….they’re every where! )

4/ What are you grateful for? 

[I’m always grateful for my health but also for good friends, fresh clean water, and to be loved].


This kind of self reflection is rewarding and can also be the rejuvenation you need, before launching in to another year.

It can also provide valuable information for planning ahead, such as what you want more of, or what you want less of.

[for me, one thing I want less of – is to feel ‘obligated’ to do things – I want to feel excited!]

So before you set those ‘new’ year’s resolutions – take time to reflect on this past year.

In a real hurry?  Try this;

a/ What is one thing you liked? 

b/ What is one thing you want more of?

Take time to do this.  Do it with a friend, significant other, or quietly by yourself, but do it.

Here is to what was a fantastic 2013.

And here is to a very happy new year to you.


  • Hi Matt
    You always leave me thinking and in a better place. I am grateful to have met you and the work that you do is so valuable.

    • Thank You Trish. You’re very kind. Happy New Year

    • We deileftniy need more smart people like you around.

      • Thank you Luziane! I don’t know about smart – but sometimes I remember to slow down, and be grateful for what I already have, before rushing off to accomplish a million other things. How about you? What is one thing you’re most proud of? or grateful for?

  • Good one! The urge to rush ahead with completely new plans or to copy/paste last year’s plan is all too tempting. I think loads of quiet reflection time is the secret ingredient to awesome new plans.

    All the best Matt!

  • Happy New Year! Happy Last Year!
    It is a gentle reminder to us all to take the time to FIRST reflect on all that was good this past year and those in our lives who have made it so, move on from the trials and tribulations, give thanks for what we have learned, and then take in a very deep breath before we set our sights on the new year ahead.
    Thank you Matt!

    • Happy New Year Elizabeth. Love the beautiful way you’ve framed the intention (and benefits) of reflecting in such a heartfelt way.
      thank you right back.

  • Always a refreshing perspective Matt to slow down and milk the moment for all that’s we’re grateful for. Here is another perspective on the New Year Resolution perspective that was posted in one of my linked in groups…!

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