I think new year's resolutions are bogus. A lot of us pretend that we’re going to change, hoping that a few well-spoken words and maybe a list will push us to magically change in the first month of the new year. But on average, only 8% of people actually keep their new year's resolutions. To clarify, out of 100% of the people who make resolutions, only 8% actually keep them. So why make one then?
I think we believe that by setting this goal for ourselves, that we’ll have put more pressure on ourselves to change. And if we bring other people into it, then there’s pressure from other people making sure we do what we’re supposed to, or don’t do what we’re not supposed to. But does all the pressure really help? Too much pressure can actually be the downfall of a resolution.
The 92% of resolutions that aren’t kept are usually because you set too many. By setting too many, you put too much pressure on yourself to change in multiple areas, thus causing you to abandon all of them. Another reason for unkept resolutions is that oftentimes we get tripped up by small failures, like having that one cookie, or forgetting to work out that one Tuesday. This may result in us thinking “screw that resolution, I messed up,” when in fact it could’ve been salvaged.
I don’t set resolutions…anymore. I find it to be an ineffective way of bringing personal change. I don’t want to wait till December 31st to say “I’m ready to change!” There are 364 days preceding New Year’s Eve, and each of those days I should be making changes in my life. I don’t need (or want) to wait to do self-evaluation at the year’s end. I also felt that by setting a new year’s resolution and telling all my friends and family, that when I didn’t keep it, I felt really guilty. By setting smaller goals throughout the year, and keeping them unspoken, I felt less guilty for encountering failure.
Now I’m not saying you should or shouldn’t set a new year’s resolution. And I’m not bashing you if you decide to set one. I’m also not saying you’re not gonna keep it. Maybe you’ll be that 8% this year. Just a couple tips to keep those resolutions, though. Firstly, only set one or two, you’re more likely to get tripped up if you have 5 or more than if you keep it small. And secondly, don’t get discouraged by little failures, you’re taking steps to rewire how your brain does a particular thing, it will take awhile, and you may encounter failures along the way.