New Year’s Resolutions: Not Worth It
Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, which are pacts to themselves that they think will ultimately help them become a better person. New Year’s resolutions are usually general goals that are meant to last the whole year. Common resolutions include eating healthier, working out more, reading more often, and making better financial decisions. However, by February, most people find that they cannot stay true to their resolutions and end up caving in. For this reason, making a New Year’s resolution can be stressful, because a resolution has to be realistic and something one is willing to follow for an extended period of time (a whole year!).
I’m a person who cannot set long-term goals because they are just way too intimidating for me. I tend to live by the day, and planning very far ahead gives me anxiety. I prefer setting short-term goals as I go. That way, I feel more motivated to follow my goals since the process is less intimidating, and even if I can’t reach my goal, it’s not as big of a disappointment- I can just set a new one and move on with life. Furthermore, research has shown that setting specific, short-term goals is more beneficial in the long run than setting long-term goals.
If one doesn’t like to set short-term goals or make New Year’s resolutions (which, in my opinion, are not worth it), they can make a simple list of things they would like to do that year. That way, the act of making resolutions is not as stressful, but at least there is some thinking going on regarding goal-setting.
Bottom line, New Year’s resolutions have never worked out for me, and I both prefer and recommend other methods of goal setting, including short-term goals and lists.
– Shruti Sathish
New Year’s Resolutions: Needed for Self-Improvement
With the celebration of the New Year, people around the world are making New Year’s Resolutions, full of hope and goals for the upcoming year. Keeping New Year’s resolutions can be challenging, especially when they require changing deeply-rooted, habitual behaviors. With consistency, mindfulness, patience and motivation, New Year’s resolutions can lead to healthier lives and greater self-awareness. Resolutions encourage individuals to reflect upon things they would like to change in their lives and to develop strategies that help them meet their goals.
For starters, the holiday season fosters reflection. Usually during the holidays, people are surrounded by friends and family inspiring them to reminisce and take stock of the past year. The calendar change symbolizes new beginnings and makes the New Year the ideal time to create new goals and start over. Not unlike the reset button on your computer, being willing to examine what is working and what isn’t opens the door for real change.
New Year’s resolutions support positive changes in people’s lives. Most resolutions tend to be goals that improve your life (i.e. saving for a downpayment, losing 20 pounds, eliminating fast foods, getting more sleep, etc). When you recognize areas that you’d like to change, you can become empowered to take action. This increased awareness can help people realize that they have a lot of control over their own destiny; a resolution can be the first proactive step towards a more stable, healthy, and fulfilling life.
New Year’s resolutions also promote positive and non-judgmental self-reflection. While immersed in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we often forget to appreciate and acknowledge our achievements. Perhaps we have already made positive changes throughout the year without giving those accomplishments much thought. A self-compassionate approach can help you see things more clearly. For example, instead of bashing yourself for not exercising everyday, you might choose to frame it with compassion and celebrate each incremental improvement: a faster mile, more strength, greater endurance, etc.
New Year’s Resolutions can help people gain insight and claim their values. Creating personal goals can lead to realizing what matters most. For instance, for someone with social anxiety, making a resolution to take advantage of more social opportunities might lead to feeling more connected and less isolated. more diverse community and network. With a clear plan and the help of friends and family, small changes can lead to transformation.
Of course, an “all-or-nothing” mindset can sabotage even the best of intentions. You don’t have to be perfect! Most habits take weeks to months of deliberate practice to change; patience is key! When you experience setbacks, simply note the behavior and push the reset button.
There are those who argue that New Year’s resolutions are unattainable and discouraging, implying that those who do so are setting themselves up for inevitable failure. However, this claim is misleading. According to statistic brain.com, 68.4% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions actually stick with them for as long as three months! Furthermore, 53.8% of respondents claimed that their resolutions made significant and positive impacts on their lives.
While unrealistic New Year’s resolutions can be unattainable and demoralizing, thoughtful changes can help people set priorities and achieve greater clarity about what matters most. Resolutions can assist people in improving their well-being, motivating them to make changes and renew their commitment to practice better self-care and be live more fully. When resolutions prompt you to truly seek positive change, much good can come from this annual tradition.
– Maggie Di Sanza
Categories: JMM Opinions