Are New Year’s Resolutions Yay or Nay?

New Year's resolutions

Congratulations! If you are reading this then that means you survived another year, making it through a second year of COVID-19 alongside it’s variants, a tumultuous job market and another year of uncertainty. An abundance of people have had their lives reformed and remodeled during 2021, some for better while others for worse.

There may be some discrepancies in regards to where everyone falls on the scale of success during this year, but that will be irrelevant once 2022 produces a restart. Typically we will acknowledge this yearly restart by creating new goals, promising ourselves that we will no longer be an expired version of our beings nor continue any unbeneficial behaviors.

This is usually done in the form of New Year’s resolutions, something that only the dedicated of the dedicated keep for 365 days. Although the concept is good in theory, the idea is quite trite, archaic, and not to mention excess pressure. Making strict declarations of what you plan to do on each year’s new year is admirable, but oftentimes not achieved. 

According to a research study, about half of adults make New Year’s resolutions, however only 10% of adults manage to keep them more than a few months, according to IFLS. A vast majority fall into the 90th percentile when it comes to abandoning resolutions, yet we keep making them—holding out faith that we’ll complete the mission on the next go round. So if most of us always break our resolution, why do we still feel the need to make one?

“I think most people want a second chance to improve the quality of their lives,” Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness facilitator at Piedmont, Dennis Buttimer tells Piedmont. “The New Year offers a blank slate — an opportunity to get things right. When we set New Year’s resolutions, we are utilizing a very important concept called self-efficacy, which means that by virtue of aspiring to a goal and following through on it, I have a sense of control over what’s happening in my life.”

Obviously making future arrangements or manifesting what you want annually isn’t a bad thing, but beware of falling into a stupor if your “new year, new me” train suddenly stops. Because people have a habit of making grandiose goals that require much effort to achieve, quitting said objectives is a go-to option for most. Giving up on resolutions can fuel false hope syndrome, a condition “characterized by unrealistic expectations about the likely speed, amount, ease, and consequences of self-change attempts,” according to a research study. 

So what’s the solution to maintaining a New Year’s resolution? Stop putting so much emphasis on it. If you don’t reach your resolution in 365 days then just take another 365 to get it right. As we walk into 2022, let’s get rid of the New Year’s resolution and just walk in your purpose all year-long.

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