We need to ditch new year’s resolutions

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Every Jan. 1, millions of people worldwide come up with a list of New Year’s resolution. But, are they doing more harm than good?

The end of 2022 is finally here. After a long, and exhausting, year, we finally get to start anew. All of the mistakes and hard times are put behind us as we look forward to the new year.

Or, that’s what we wish could happen. 

At the end of every December, people worldwide are planning how to make the coming year better and more productive. New Year’s resolutions have always given us something to focus on so that we don’t go into the new year feeling lost. But, each year, over 64 percent of people end up ditching their resolutions by the end of the first month. Which begs the question, are New Year’s resolutions even worth trying?

As the countdown hits zero on Jan. 1, I spend a few minutes coming up with a list of things I want to accomplish in the coming year. But, as February rolls around, I haven’t actually completed any of the resolutions.

This consistent occurrence is always frustrating, especially since the resolutions are something I genuinely want to do. The reasons as to why they fail never seem to cross my mind, so by the next time Jan. 1 rolls around I have not changed my approach. 

So, why do New Year’s resolutions fail for a majority of people?

The disappointment of failing something you believed you can do is a horrible feeling.”

Often, we overestimate how much we can actually do. We hold ourselves to a high standard – such as believing we can do something every single day for 365 days – but we don’t take outside factors, such as a busy schedule, into account. 

Having the goal to do something every day adds extreme pressure and stress. Someone may feel like they have to do that activity every day or else they fail the resolution. 

The disappointment of failing something you believed you can do is a horrible feeling. It ends up negatively affecting your mental health and lowering your self esteem. I know that when I fail a resolution, I end up not doing the activity for months and always think, “maybe next year.”

It’s this mentality that makes New Year’s resolutions harmful, not helpful. Getting started in a new routine is very difficult; it is almost impossible to ask yourself to go from one lifestyle to another in a mere 24 hours. 

Additionally, you have to make sure you’re doing a New Year’s resolution for the right reason. We often do something because it’s trendy or because people say we should. This is not a strong enough incentive to change a behavior or add a new habit into your life.

If you want to make a change in your life, do so gradually and because you want to. You need to take small steps towards living a healthy life, such as being specific about what you want to accomplish and having friends and family who support you. 

Something I do is set a specific time aside, maybe once or twice a week depending on what it is, to do the activity. I also do progress checks, either on social media or with friends, so it gives me further incentive to make actually progress. 

But, you have to keep in mind that outside factors are going to happen and are going to affect you. Just because you’ve missed a few days of what you want to do does not mean you’ve failed. Just restart, or begin where you’ve left off, and keep working hard. 

Let’s ditch the harmful pressure of New Year’s resolutions and practice healthy habits and a healthy mindset this new year.