New Year’s Resolutions and Parkinson’s Law

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution a few weeks ago? How is it going? If you’re like most of us, you may have fallen off the wagon already. 

Instead of recycling the same few New Year’s Resolutions we always use, let’s think about it differently this time. 

Let’s talk about Parkinson’s Law for a minute. 

If you’re not familiar with Parkinson’s Law, it’s the old maxim that “work expands to fill the time allotted.” Put simply, the more time we have to get something done, the more we procrastinate. 

Think of it like this: When you were in school and the teacher assigned a paper or project on Monday that was due on Friday, you probably didn’t do it that night. You waited until Thursday night to start and finish the paper. That’s Parkinson’s Law.

New Year’s Resolutions function the same way. If you set a goal in January that you want to complete by December, it’s probably not going to happen. You might be gung-ho the first week or two, but “life happens” and you tell yourself you have 11 more months to achieve it. Pretty soon, you’ve forgotten all about it. 

So does that mean you should never set big goals? Of course not. But big goals can’t stand alone. They need small, manageable goals along the way to break them down. Breaking down big goals into bite size pieces is exactly the kind of thing a coach can help you with. 

Say you want to lose 20 lbs this year. Make your first goal to eat one serving of vegetables at each meal for two weeks.

After you have conquered that goal, make 45 minutes of exercise four times a week your goal. Then go on to the next small goal and the next one and so forth.

Eventually, you’ll have achieved all of these small goals, and they will have helped you reach your really big goal for the year. 

If you’re already feeling iffy about your New Year’s Resolution, try ditching it altogether.  Instead, focus on the small steps and you might be pleasantly surprised how they lead to big accomplishments! 

Inspiration provided by Brandon Brigman at

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