Unfortunately, for most who partake in New Year’s resolutions, a new year does not necessarily result in a new you. Instead of being a constructive chance for improvements, resolutions only create goals that are half-heartedly pursued.
Unlike any other day, New Year’s Day signifies a fresh start, bringing with it phrases such as “New year, new me” and “What’s your resolution?” With the continuous barrage of reminders about the turn of the year, it’s no wonder that people feel the need to brainstorm a New Year’s resolution, and that the resolutions created end up being goals that they never thought about until Dec. 31.
I made my first New Year’s resolution in middle school, when I vowed to read more books. Reading had been one of my favorite hobbies although my reading fever died down in middle school, so I saw New Year’s as a perfect chance to pick up reading books. Skip forward a month or two, and I hadn’t even flipped a single page other than from required school readings despite the pile of books gathering dust on my shelf. As I would learn from future failed resolutions, my “resolutions” were merely activities I had little interest in completing—only goals that I spontaneously made to mark the beginning of the year.
While making changes for the better is not necessarily a bad thing, people do not have the conviction to carry out their goal. They end up chasing after their motives with a lukewarm approach, one where people focus purely on the end goal that they quickly came up with and do not have a clear plan of how to complete (and only if they even remember what their resolution was in the first place).
According to U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of people fail at their resolution by February. In less than 60 days, a majority who spontaneously created resolutions are left with a forgotten dream and a sense of failure, only to repeat this vicious cycle again the following year.
It is true that the beginning of a new year does drive people to set goals; however, it is the wrong type of motivation. The turn of the year invokes a false sense of real interest to change; people casually generate aspirations just because they can and are prompted by tradition. Even though objective was created haphazardly, it still is disappointing to face the failure.
At first, it may seem like New Year’s resolutions allow us to look back on the year and make changes for the better, but that is rarely the result. Although this tradition has been around for hundreds of years, it may be time to scrap New Year’s resolutions and avoid the unnecessary frustration and dismay they bring.