Why New Year’s Resolutions should not exist

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Why New Year’s Resolutions should not exist

Photo courtesy of Medium.

Photo courtesy of Medium.

Photo courtesy of Medium.

Photo courtesy of Medium.

Evin Nesburn, Editor-in-Chief

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Are New Year’s Resolutions really that helpful? In my opinion, no. Why should we wait a whole year to make a pact with ourselves to change some aspect of our life for the better? The short answer is we shouldn’t.

I’ve tried countless times to hold myself accountable for keeping up my New Year’s Resolutions, and every single time it has largely failed. No matter if you are telling yourself that you are making a pact to exercise at least four times a week, eat healthier, put more detailed work into school or your job, or simply change small habits in your life, New Year’s seems like the time that we make these pacts with ourselves. Most people I know who make these pacts never seem to stick to them, usually because they are too big to immediately change, and people give up within a few days to weeks. In fact, around 80% of people fail to keep up their resolutions, as cited by the NY Post

Instead of pinpointing a specific goal with a specific day, make the decision you want to change something based on when it will work for you, and when you can be accountable for your decisions. Take action when it is attainable for yourself instead of deciding to start on a day that you may not be ready to start on. 

In addition to no longer associating New Year’s with immediate change, take baby steps instead of initiating full-throttle change. Most of the time people fail because they cannot simply change a large portion of their lifestyle at once. Set attainable goals. If it is working out at least four times a week, build up to the four by starting at one or two. If it is being on your phone less, start by cutting down the time by thirty minutes or an hour or delete an addictive app before trying too hard to never, ever view your phone, which will just (most likely) initiate a cycle of more phone use. This can apply to any goal you set. It is crucial to plan ahead in order to stick to your goals, rather than setting a vague goal without an outline of how to achieve it.

As for my resolutions– to keep a healthy exercise regimen, eat more greens, reduce phone use, meet more people, and get out into nature more often– I am setting clear outlines for how to achieve these goals, each one once at a time. And I am starting each one when I feel it is best based on my schedule and mental state, not based on the start of the New Year. 

I encourage you to do the same– make a clear schedule and outline of your resolutions and the ways in which you can achieve these goals. I guarantee you that these resolutions will become more of a reality than setting big, vague goals all associated with the start of a New Year.