New Year’s Resolutions in Their Current Form are Not Beneficial [Opinion]


By Andrew Reese, North Star Writer

New Year’s comes chock full of exciting events. Hosting your own party or going to someone else’s. Playing games or watching a movie with family and friends. Watching the ball drop in Times Square or lining up a famous movie scene with the countdown. All fantastic celebrations of an approaching new year, but there is one dreaded tradition that lurks in the back of everyone’s minds: resolutions.

So what makes a resolution so hard? They are composed of multiple parts: a problem, a goal and a result (being success or failure). The issues that people have with resolutions arise between the second and third steps, and the main reason for those issues is motivation. The motivation to follow through with a resolution is short-lived, so someone may start excited to get to work but they will soon grow tired of it. Now what should you do to make your resolution as effective as possible?

The first step is to evaluate your goal. With a goal, like wanting to put 20 percent of your paycheck into a savings account, you’ll find that you may need to break it to pay for emergency costs. The first priority with making the goal should be to make it possible to achieve without breaking, or else you will lose motivation every time it does. After making an attainable goal, short motivation is the limiting factor. Trying to wake up early or get off work and go straight to the gym is tough to do, so it’s necessary to find the proper motivation that will last a long time. Doing it with a friend or significant other is a great way to get the job done but also motivate each other.

The follow-through is the final component to the success of a resolution and it has a simple solution: set milestones to keep track of progress. It’s easy to lose track of a long-term goal, so it’s important to give it short term checkpoints for motivation and patience’s sake. Giving yourself rewards once you reach them also pushes you to keep going. If your resolution is to lose 50 pounds, set markers at every 10 and take the day to relax when you’ve reached them. Keep in mind not to set a reward that will break your goal or you’ll trap yourself in a cycle of meeting and losing your resolution. With something nearby to look forward to, a resolution looks less like a year-long struggle and more like a checkbox on a to-do list.