With another year drawing to an end, the overwhelming social pressure our society places on creating a list of goals and resolutions to better ourselves is a little outrageous. The concept of creating a list of New Year's resolutions is no different than constituting a list of long-term goals, except for the fact that it comes in effect at the start of a new year. Dedicating a single day to start a major life change, or even a list of smaller life changes, is illogical. Furthermore, if you feel so strongly about making a change in your life, make it now! January 1 is no different than today, tomorrow, or any other day of the year.
New Year's resolutions are kind of like your least favorite aunt that drinks one too many martinis at your annual family reunion. You know you can't take her too seriously, but all you can do is laugh and play along when she comes around once a year. Unfortunately, those seven days between Christmas and New Year's Day are the week you have to spend with your "drunk aunt." Or in other words, this is the week millions of Americans create a list of unspecific and unrealistic goals they plan to reach.
Although it is human nature to gravitate towards self-improvement, the reason we often set goals that are unrealistic is because they are set based on willpower, not a system. For example, people often set the resolution that they plan to work out more often but get discouraged when they don't see results after just one week. Setting the goal of simply "working out more often" is highly flawed because it is extremely vague. Unspecific goals without a clear plan of action often lead to failure. Unfortunately, this failure then causes us to distrust ourselves. Think about it, if you have set the same set of resolutions for the past five years and you have yet to meet any of them, what makes you believe that you will be able to meet them this year?
Instead of dedicating a single day to begin working your way towards meeting a goal or making a simple change in your life, start now, or tomorrow, or next month! It's your life! The most important thing about setting a list of goals or attempting to make a change is not when you do it, but how you do it. There is no point in creating a list of New Year's resolutions you know you'll probably forget all about it in two weeks. Just because that's what the rest of your friends are doing, doesn't mean it will work for you. Trying to make a change on January 1 without actually thinking about what it will require or how you will do it is pointless.
In conclusion, I would like to add that there is nothing wrong with a little self-evaluation. However, if you are creating a list of New Year's resolutions "out of habit" or because you "feel like it's the responsible thing to do," don't waste your time. In order to make a change, you have to be motivated, have a plan of action, and you have to do it when you're ready. Happy New Year, my friends!