New Year’s Resolutions: Are They Worth It?

New Years Resolutions: Are They Worth It?

Madison Ross

Happy New Year! It’s been just over two weeks since we rang in 2023. Whether you celebrated New Year’s with party hats and noisemakers or quietly watched the festivities on TV, traveled or stayed home, spent time with loved ones or gave extra special attention to your pets, there is one thing that connects almost everyone on this holiday: New Year’s resolutions. Every year, people around the world vow to accomplish something new in the next year, however, few actually do so. So, is it worth it to even make these resolutions? This article explores the viability of making these kinds of resolutions, and how you can give yourself a better shot at success if you do decide to pursue a new you in the new year.

Making resolutions is a popular tradition, but why? According to an article published by CNN, people enjoy setting these goals for themselves in the new year because they feel that they can more easily let go of old, bad habits in the face of this “new chapter”. This sense of ease drives more people to make resolutions for the new year. This is why you might see more new people at the gym in January than in July: they all feel like it’s time to start something new because it’s a new year. The most popular kinds of resolutions, according to YouGovAmerica, include eating healthier, exercising more, saving more money, and improving physical health, with about one in five Americans wanting to accomplish each goal.

Although it’s popular to set these goals, following through with them is far less common. According to an article from Forbes, about 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail. This means that the vast majority of people who make these goals don’t achieve them. Additionally, a study published by the National Library of Medicine found that people who set avoidance-based goals are far less likely to achieve their resolutions than those who set approach-based goals. So, people attempting to stop bad habits are less likely to be successful than those attempting to start good ones.

While it might be discouraging to learn that most people fail at their New Year’s resolutions, you don’t have to give up on yours because of it. There are certain steps you can take to increase your chances of success. The first step is to understand how you, as a human being, operate. Two articles, published by CNN and Forbes respectively, offer some advice on how to be successful at New Year’s resolutions. This advice includes sharing your resolutions with others, as these people will hold you accountable by checking in with you as you go (and you don’t want to be the person to tell them that you’ve given up, so you’ll likely keep going); using cues for your resolutions such as setting calendar reminders, alarms, and putting up sticky notes to remind yourself of your plans; building in a reward system, such as choosing to listen to your favorite music while you work out or eating your favorite foods while you read; and changing your mentality, many people give up on their resolutions after failing at them for a week, when in reality it is much more productive to try again the following week than to wait until next year to make another resolution. If you follow this advice, then you may just be able to accomplish your goals in 2023.

New Year’s resolutions are tricky. Although tough to accomplish, using this new knowledge can give you a better shot at success this year. Or, if you’re like me, perhaps you’ve given up on these resolutions entirely. I’ve found it much more productive to set weekly goals for myself instead of year-long resolutions, as it enables me to measure my progress in manageable weekly increments. Regardless of how you decide to progress this year, know that it is okay to fail sometimes and that you are capable of great success regardless.





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