New Year’s resolutions are pretty pointless

Jan. 20, 2022

By Jude McElroy

New Year’s has come and gone, and you or someone you know probably made a resolution to ring in the new year. But was that resolution kept? 

According to the health and wellness blog Discover Happy Habits, only 64% of people keep their resolutions for more than a month, and it continues to drop after that. In 2016, only 9% of people managed to keep their resolutions all year. So why do we keep making them if the vast majority of people drop them not even halfway through the year?

Considering these statistics, it does not seem worthwhile to make a resolution. Sometimes the commitment can be too much, especially when a resolution becomes more challenging than anticipated. It’s stressful to keep something like that up the whole year, especially if it’s a goal you were so confident in taking on. 

Some of the most common resolutions are health-related, like getting more exercise, eating healthier and losing weight. In a 2019 survey, around 50% of people made resolutions that involved improving their health. All of these take a lot of commitment, which is why so many drop these resolutions so quickly.

Take time to figure out what works best for you instead of jumping straight into a challenging resolution.

It is fun to come up with a small resolution and try to commit to it, but some resolutions just take too much time, planning and money. 

According to fitness retailer Sundried, about 95% of people surveyed had fitness-related resolutions. Sundried identifies 10 reasons why so many people drop their resolution within the first month. Most of the reasons have to do with mindset. If someone takes on a resolution alone without any help or planning and has unrealistic expectations, it will not work out. Therefore, it’s not worth going through the stress of committing to something you’ll drop a month later.

Another reason why it is better not to make resolutions is how much easier it is to ease yourself into a habit. Take time to figure out what works best for you instead of jumping straight into a challenging resolution. It will be much easier on you mentally if you try out different goals to work on for the year and identify a variety of strategies to help you meet those objectives.

It’s easier to spread out your goals over a longer period of time and set realistic expectations for yourself. You can’t make a resolution on Jan. 1 and expect to see progress on a lofty fitness goal, for example, within a few weeks. 

Furthermore, it’s also a lot easier and more fun to take on your resolution with family and friends. Therefore, if you decide to make a New Year’s resolution, don’t do it alone. Commit to exercising with a friend, exploring a new hobby by joining an extracurricular club at school or setting a goal with a family member.

It is fun to come up with a small resolution for the year such as cutting out a certain unhealthy food or drink from your diet, but don’t set your sights on a big resolution and expect major results. It takes time and dedication to lose weight, exercise more or make a significant change in your daily routine.

Therefore, set realistic expectations, find a support system and ease yourself into a new habit. Otherwise, you’ll just be setting yourself up for failure, which is far too often the case when people set out to achieve their New Year’s Resolutions.

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