New Year’s resolutions: are they really worth it?

Illustration by Jaida Noble | This is what my New Year’s resolutions list looks like! No resolutions for me.

Honestly, New Year’s resolutions are the worst kind of resolutions and are made at the worst time to make them. Here’s why.

By about the middle-end of January, most of you that made New Year’s resolutions have fallen off the bandwagon. Now, this is of course nothing against you but- and I hate to break it to you- New Year’s resolutions don’t work.

There are fewer of you making New Year’s resolutions this year than there were the year before. The New York Times reports that 29% of Americans say that they will make New Year’s resolutions whereas last year, 43% of Americans said that they would make resolutions. 

So to the 29% of you that still make New Year’s resolutions, here’s why you shouldn’t.

For one, and probably the most important reason, they don’t work. One study done by the University of Scranton found that after one week, 23% of people who made resolutions quit them after just one week of completing them. Only 19% of people were able to stick to their resolutions in the long term.

Secondly, why is New Year’s Day even the best time to make a resolution? You’ve probably hyped up the new year in your head and are having inflated expectations of what you will accomplish. It’s an understanding feeling but one that doesn’t last long, especially during a global pandemic. 

Though I am firmly against making New Year’s resolutions, here are some tips you can try to help you succeed if you decide to make one.

Keep it manageable. Make sure you give yourself a goal that isn’t too outrageous. If you want to start working out every single day and you aren’t working out at all, chances are you won’t accomplish your goal. 

Find a way to encourage yourself throughout the year as you complete your resolution. Tell your friends and family so that they can also encourage and support you. 

One way to achieve your resolution is to make it a S.M.A.R.T. goal. Make it specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. 

Say your goal is to exercise more in the new year. To make the chance of your resolution succeeding, make it a S.M.A.R.T. goal. 

To specify the goal, you could say I will work out on Tuesdays and Thursdays. To make sure you can measure your progress, every time you work out, add it to your calendar. This goal seems achievable, make sure your goal is something you want to do and it will make you happy and  finally, make sure you have a timeline along the year for your goal to be completed. 

Don’t feel bad if you don’t achieve your goal. There’s always next year. 

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