As the month of January comes to an end, so does our readiness to commit to New Year’s resolutions. Those who promised themselves to eat healthily and to lose weight make trips to the fridge at night, ex-shopaholics anew spend hours in clothing stores and students are having a hard time finding the motivation to perform better academically despite their Jan. 1 promises. According to U.S. News statistics from 2017, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the end of the second week of February. Is staying faithful to what we’ve resolved to change worth the effort, or are those resolutions meant to be broken?
This year, instead of following the tradition of proposing New Year’s resolutions to later struggle with, many decided to abandon the practice altogether. This decision originated with the belief that we can literally change anything any time, and hence, we shouldn’t wait until Jan. 1 to do so. Unfortunately, this is a trap, albeit an inspirational-sounding one. It is far more difficult to start working toward a goal without an established starting point. Alike a smoker who naively has confidence in their ability to quit any day, those who persuade themselves that they can improve their lives whenever they want, fall into the vicious circle of procrastination. The sole idea of an infinite possibility is sufficient to make us feel better about ourselves.
The beginning of a new year symbolizes a fresh start and inspires the hope that everything will work out for the best. On New Year’s Eve, we become creators of our perfect life formulated in a list of resolutions. Studies show that by having a temporal landmark to kick off our strive toward self betterment, our goals become seemingly more achievable. The “I’ll start tomorrow” mentality is eradicated, and replaced by a date that holds you accountable. Furthermore, New Year’s creates a psychological barrier between the person’s new self and the past self that they are leaving behind. This being said, you may wonder why the numbers of those who don’t succeed in fulfilling their New Year’s resolutions are so high.
What we tend to forget is that it is only human to be imperfect. Every conscious positive change we decide to bring into our lives demands time, energy and perseverance. For this reason, it is important to work hard each day following New Year’s, rather than giving up at the first fumble. All in all, the effectiveness of New Year’s resolutions is not a myth — you can truly become a new and improved person in the new year. Therefore, I strongly encourage everyone to keep striving toward their resolutions shamelessly until they finally succeed.
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