Are New Year’s Resolutions a Good Idea?


“New Year, New Me” is a common phrase and overused Instagram caption we often hear around the New Year. Many people use the transition into the next year as a fresh start to become the person they always wanted to be; while it sounds like a noble idea, many people are opposed to such promises and expectations for the New Year. 

Some people say that setting higher standards for the New Year will just leave us disappointed and ashamed if we cannot live up to these expectations. For example, many people vow to finally put their overdue gym membership to use after Jan. 1, but when they ultimately lose motivation in a couple of weeks, they may feel like a failure for not following through with these goals. 

However, we are not all destined to fall short of the goals we have for the New Year. Instead of setting big goals like “I am going to run a marathon in 2021,” try to start off with smaller and more attainable goals like “In 2021, I am going to be able to run two miles without a break.”

By establishing more realistic goals, disappointment is less likely to happen. However, once these smaller goals are reached, that does not mean you have to stop there. The benefit of setting these achievable goals is that once they are met, a new one can be set. These little steps can lead to bigger successes and achievements. 

After accomplishing the goal of “running two miles without a break,” the next objective could be to “run four miles without a break.” After each goal is met, a sense of accomplishment and victory can act as motivation to complete the next task. Each small sense of achievement builds self esteem and provides momentum to achieve these big goals.

By breaking up the major expectation of “running a marathon in 2021” into smaller goals, it does not seem as intimidating or impossible. 

For many, the New Year can be a stressful time where change seems necessary. However, these resolutions do not have to be anything major like becoming a millionaire. They can be as simple as complimenting five people a day or decreasing decreasing average screen time by one hour.

These simple tasks can transform into major habits; by complimenting five people a day, one may feel a sense of pride for lifting someone’s spirits causing them to be an overall nicer, more appreciative person. By limiting screen time, one might appreciate the world around them more, spend more time with family and realize they do not need their screens to be happy.

New Year’s Resolutions are not meant to be stressful or disappointing. They are exciting and intend to transform one to the best possible version they can be. By using these ideas and setting small goals, it helps guarantee success and positive energy for the New Year.