Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions: A Fresh Perspective on Personal Growth

Rethinking New Year’s Resolutions: A Fresh Perspective on Personal Growth was originally published on Ivy Exec.

By Evan Tzivanakis

In the crisp embrace of a new year, many of us find ourselves captivated by the allure of resolutions – those promises we make to ourselves with the turn of the calendar.

Yet, as the days unfold, the enthusiasm often wanes, leaving us wondering why these resolutions seem to crumble before the first blossoms of spring. Could it be that there’s something inherently flawed in the concept of New Year’s resolutions?

Let’s start with the name itself – “New Year’s resolutions.” It carries a certain weight, a sense of obligation that can be burdensome. The very term implies a firm commitment, often centered around abrupt lifestyle changes or ambitious goals. However, the reality is that change, especially profound change, is a gradual process.


In the realm of management and leadership, where navigating VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) times is the norm, the concept of resolutions might seem oddly out of place. The dynamic nature of today’s professional landscape demands a more adaptable and sustainable approach to personal growth.

One reason traditional New Year’s resolutions may falter is their generic nature. They often revolve around common themes like weight loss, fitness, or quitting a habit. While these objectives are undoubtedly valuable, they lack the personal touch necessary for long-term commitment. It’s time to shift our focus from generic resolutions to personalized intentions.


Instead of setting rigid goals, consider framing your aspirations as intentions – guiding principles that align with your values and aspirations. Whether in the context of leadership or personal development, intentions provide a flexible framework that adapts to the nuances of your journey. It’s about fostering a mindset that embraces progress over perfection.

In the world of executive coaching and training, a key lesson emerges – the power of incremental progress. Rather than succumbing to the pressure of immediate, drastic change, acknowledge that meaningful transformation is a journey. Break down your intentions into smaller, manageable steps. This approach not only makes your goals more achievable but also allows for a sense of accomplishment along the way.

Let’s delve into the psychology of resolutions. The traditional January 1st deadline can create an artificial sense of urgency, often leading to a sprint rather than a marathon. In a VUCA world, adaptability and resilience are paramount. Hence, it’s crucial to recognize that personal growth is an ongoing process, not bound by the constraints of a single calendar year.


As an adjunct lecturer in management development, I often emphasize the importance of self-reflection and continuous learning. Apply this principle to your personal growth journey. Regularly assess your intentions, celebrate the progress made, and adjust course as needed. The beauty of this approach lies in its responsiveness to the ebb and flow of life’s complexities.

Moreover, the societal pressure associated with New Year’s resolutions can contribute to their downfall. The fear of failure looms large, leading many to abandon their resolutions at the first sign of deviation. Shifting to a mindset of self-compassion is crucial. Acknowledge that setbacks are a natural part of any journey and use them as opportunities for learning and growth.



The conventional notion of New Year’s resolutions may not align with the principles of adaptability and sustainability crucial in today’s VUCA landscape. Instead, consider embracing personalized intentions, focus on incremental progress, and foster a mindset of self-compassion. In doing so, you not only redefine your approach to personal growth but also set the stage for enduring success in the ever-evolving world of management and leadership.

By Ivy Exec
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