Shake off those resolution blues with five fun twists that’ll get you smiling again!

The end of the year is typically when we tie up loose ends. We reflect on the past year and look at our resolution checklists for the year. It’s a good time for some of us who have checked off almost everything on our list. But this time can be rough for those with a list of unchecked resolutions staring at them. We tend to experience a feeling of sadness and dissatisfaction. This is what is referred to as “resolution blues.”

It is pretty normal to experience resolution blues now and then. However, sitting in this feeling for a long time can hurt your self-esteem and affect your drive for life. Getting rid of the feeling should be your next course of action. That is why we spoke to Chika and Asabe, who have dealt with resolution blues, to curate a list of steps to take when resolution blues knock on your door. And an extra step to help you avoid it.

Reflect with Compassion

Black woman via Adobe Stock

One of the major things that helped Chika overcome resolution blues was approaching the review of her resolutions with gentle curiosity and understanding.  She states, “Life doesn’t always go the way we plan.”

Sometimes, the unfulfillment of our resolutions can be no fault of ours. Practice compassion instead of succumbing to harsh criticism of yourself, and show yourself the same kindness and empathy you would offer to a friend facing challenges.

By doing this, you steer yourself toward a mindset that fosters understanding, acceptance, and the motivation to move forward.

Extract the Lessons

Shot of a young woman writing in a notebook while relaxing on a sofa at home via iStock

Instead of dwelling on what didn’t materialise, take a moment to dissect the experiences and uncover valuable insights. Think about these questions like Chika did to help yourself: “Why didn’t I meet my goals? What mistakes did I make? How can I do better?”

These are questions you need to answer as you review your resolutions. Be honest with yourself. The answers to these questions can help you fare better with the resolutions you set for next year.

When you reframe unfulfilled resolutions as opportunities for learning, the sadness that accompanies them dissipates.

Speak to Loved Ones

Affectionate female friends embracing each other outdoors via iStock

There is power in the community. Simply sharing your struggles with loved ones can help curb resolution blues.

Asabe asks that you “leave pretence out the door.” Speaking openly and honestly about our challenges not only lightens the burden we carry but also strengthens the bonds of connection.

Loved ones often offer a fresh perspective and reassurance. They also remind us that achieving resolutions alone does not define our worth. The support of your community is a breeding ground for self-compassion. The compassion you receive can motivate you to be more compassionate toward yourself.

Celebrate Small Wins

Closeup of an attractive mid-20s black woman dancing at an open-air concert via iStock

Sometimes, we are so overwhelmed by unrealised resolutions that we forget the small wins we achieved during the year. These victories need not be grand. They could be as simple as completing a workout or achieving a daily step goal. Just daily triumphs that often go unnoticed.

Remember that the small steps you take are necessary because they lead you to more significant steps. It is why the popular quote, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” exists.

Asabe emphasises the importance of celebrating the small wins in curbing resolution blues. When you redirect your focus to the small victories along the way, you break the cycle of sadness, which enhances a positive mindset. Today, reflect on those small wins and let them prompt you in the right direction.

Reassess and Adjust Goals

Shot of a young woman having tea and writing in a notebook on the sofa at home via iStock

View unchecked resolutions as an opportunity for recalibration. This can be very liberating. As you reassess your initial goals, you can gain clarity on whether they remain realistic, attainable, or aligned with evolving priorities. Doing this can even show you why a goal was never met.

During the year, some changes might make you toss a resolution to the side. It could be because it was no longer a priority. Take note that as the year evolves, you also do, and some resolutions have to be bygones. Accessing and adjusting your goals helps you accommodate life’s fluid nature.

Set Realistic Resolutions

Smiling Young African Woman Checking Schedule In Diary via iStock

Choosing realistic resolutions keeps you away from the claws of resolution blues. Realistic resolutions recognise the constraints of time, resources, and personal capacities. It fosters a sense of empowerment rather than frustration.

For example, if you want to learn a new language in the new year, an unrealistic goal would be “Learn a new language fluently in a month.” But a realistic goal would ask that you dedicate 30 minutes each day to language learning, focusing on specific skills like vocabulary or conversation practice.

Realistic resolutions set the stage for long-term success and help curb potential feelings of disappointment.

Other additional support

A Community of Black Women via iStock

If you still find yourself struggling, you can always join communities that cater to your mental wellbeing. A notable mental health community is Chop and Chat. You get to sit with an empathetic community and share your plights. You can also book a call to speak to a life coach for free.

Another great option is Ibi Ayo Therapy and Wellness. It is an organisation that caters to your mental well-being. The founder, Fumto Ogunbawo, a clinical psychotherapist, will speak to you and give you better tips for curbing resolution blues. Forbes and U.S.A. Today‘s articles on resolution blues will also help you make better resolutions.

Remember, the road to personal development is rarely linear, and every detour offers valuable lessons. So, let’s bid farewell to the blues that come with unfulfilled resolutions and embrace a mindset that acknowledges the beauty of progress. Here’s to the lessons learned, the victories celebrated, and the promise of a brighter path.


  • Praise Vandeh

    Praise Okeoghene Vandeh is a Culture writer with a Bachelors degree in History and International Studies. She is also a Nora Ephron alumnus. Praise is a feminist who is passionate about women causes and has founded a non profit called Project Give The Girls which aims at eradicating period poverty. When she is not writing or advocating for women’s rights, you can find her reading, watching sitcoms or bantering on twitter.

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