Actually, Your New Year's Resolutions Are Pretty Useless And Probably Bad For You

Actually, Your New Year's Resolutions Are Pretty Useless And Probably Bad For You

Striving to be better is great and all, but New Year's resolutions are a waste of time.
45
views

Christmas is over, and now people everywhere are getting ready to say goodbye to 2017. Whether it was the most amazing year or the absolute worst, 2017 is almost gone, and 2018 is about to begin.

That means lists like this will be seen everywhere:

Lose weight.

Stop smoking.

Eat less junk food.

What do all of these things have in common? They are all the most common New Year's resolutions.

What else do all of these things have in common? They usually are never achieved.

The phrase "new year, new me" is said over and over. Most of us want to send our previous selves away along with the previous year. New Year's resolutions become all the rage.

But, do you want the truth?

New Year's resolutions are useless and, in some cases, have been proven to be bad for your health. Now, I am not saying setting goals to improve yourself is a bad thing. In fact, any way we can take our flaws and try to fix them and better ourselves is always going to be a good thing.

I am not saying all resolutions are bad. I am saying that there are specific ways in which we make resolutions that do more harm to us than they do good.

People say things like, "in this new year I am going to lose all my fat, get to a gym five times a week, completely change my look and become a new, better person."

The problem with resolutions like these is we make such big promises and think that is enough to motivate us. The truth is we rarely ever see these through.

Statistics say that only eight percent of people who make resolutions actually stick to them.

Steve Salerno, author of "Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless", says,

"Do we all not know people who make the same resolutions year after year? Or maybe we are that person. My concern is that the resolution takes the place of the action, as is also true with so many millions of people who sign up for an endless succession of self-help programs: They think some magic words, some avowed promise, will magically transform their lives, when we all know that the real transformational work is tough, grueling, and usually involves sacrifice and unpleasant choices."

Basically, people want to see change without putting in any work. They want the action of saying, "this new year I will do this" or, "this new year I will stop doing this" to be all the work they have to do in order to see change.

Not actually doing work to see change can actually make the thing you are trying to change worse.

For example, if you have an issue with smoking, you say, "this new year, I will stop smoking cigarettes." You say you will stop, but you don't actually have a plan on how you are going to stop.

You just want the action of saying, "I will stop" to be enough.

When you inevitably fail, and you will if you have no course of action, then you begin to feel defeated and feel like a failure. If you use smoking as a way to relieve stress, you will begin smoking more because you are stressed that you haven't been able to stop.

Ann Cuddy, a social psychologist, says we are bad at making reasonable goals. We either go with absolutes like "I will get to the gym five times a week" or very vague goals like "I will get a job."

Goals like these make them very hard to stick with.

She also says we don't take time to allow for failure. We are so set on our outcomes and not setting a process. Of course, we are going to fail--failure is a part of any process.

We fail and then we know what works and what we need to fix. Creating a process to get to your ultimate goal is the only way to get to your goal.

Jen A. Miller, a writer for "Smarter Living," says we should get SMART with our New Year's resolutions.

Specific: Set concrete, clearly defined goals with specific points of success.

Measurable: Whatever the goal, find ways to measure your progress.

Achievable: Aim high, but within reach. The goal should make you struggle but, ultimately, you should be able to obtain it.

Relevant: Find something that is really important to you that you want to change. The more it matters, the more motivated you will be to change it.

Time-bound: Set a reasonable timeline for your goal and celebrate the small victories along the way.

So maybe I don't think all resolutions are useless and terrible. We should all want to be better. I just think we definitely need to change the way we go about our resolutions.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

15 Things Only Lake People Will Understand

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.
53045
views

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people. Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look. Every year when summer rolls back around, you can't wait to fire up the boat and get back out there. Here is a list of things you can probably identify with as a fellow lake-goer.

1. A bad day at the lake is still better than a good day not at the lake.

It's your place of escape, where you can leave everything else behind and just enjoy the beautiful summer day. No matter what kind of week you had, being able to come and relax without having to worry about anything else is the best therapy there is. After all, there's nothing better than a day of hanging out in the hot sun, telling old funny stories and listening to your favorite music.

2. You know the best beaches and coves to go to.

Whether you want to just hang out and float or go walk around on a beach, you know the best spots. These often have to be based on the people you're with, given that some "party coves" can get a little too crazy for little kids on board. I still have vivid memories from when I was six that scared me when I saw the things drunk girls would do for beads.

3. You have no patience for the guy who can’t back his trailer into the water right.

When there's a long line of trucks waiting to dump their boats in the water, there's always that one clueless guy who can't get it right, and takes 5 attempts and holds up the line. No one likes that guy. One time my dad got so fed up with a guy who was taking too long that he actually got out of the car and asked this guy if he could just do it for him. So he got into the guy's car, threw it in reverse, and got it backed in on the first try. True story.

4. Doing the friendly wave to every boat you pass.

Similar to the "jeep wave," almost everyone waves to other boats passing by. It's just what you do, and is seen as a normal thing by everyone.

5. The cooler is always packed, mostly with beer.

Alcohol seems to be a big part of the lake experience, but other drinks are squeezed into the room remaining in the cooler for the kids, not to mention the wide assortment of chips and other foods in the snack bag.

6. Giving the idiot who goes 30 in a "No Wake

Zone" a piece of your mind.

There's nothing worse than floating in the water, all settled in and minding your business, when some idiot barrels through. Now your anchor is loose, and you're left jostled by the waves when it was nice and perfectly still before. This annoyance is typically answered by someone yelling some choice words to them that are probably accompanied by a middle finger in the air.

7. You have no problem with peeing in the water.

It's the lake, and some social expectations are a little different here, if not lowered quite a bit. When you have to go, you just go, and it's no big deal to anyone because they do it too.

8. You know the frustration of getting your anchor stuck.

The number of anchors you go through as a boat owner is likely a number that can be counted on two hands. Every once in a while, it gets stuck on something on the bottom of the lake, and the only way to fix the problem is to cut the rope, and you have to replace it.

9. Watching in awe at the bigger, better boats that pass by.

If you're the typical lake-goer, you likely might have an average sized boat that you're perfectly happy with. However, that doesn't mean you don't stop and stare at the fast boats that loudly speed by, or at the obnoxiously huge yachts that pass.

10. Knowing any swimsuit that you own with white in it is best left for the pool or the ocean.

You've learned this the hard way, coming back from a day in the water and seeing the flowers on your bathing suit that were once white, are now a nice brownish hue.

11. The momentary fear for your life as you get launched from the tube.

If the driver knows how to give you a good ride, or just wants to specifically throw you off, you know you're done when you're speeding up and heading straight for a big wave. Suddenly you're airborne, knowing you're about to completely wipe out, and you eat pure wake. Then you get back on and do it all again.

12. You're able to go to the restaurants by the water wearing minimal clothing.

One of the many nice things about the life at the lake is that everybody cares about everything a little less. Rolling up to the place wearing only your swimsuit, a cover-up and flip flops, you fit right in. After a long day when you're sunburned, a little buzzed, and hungry, you're served without any hesitation.

13. Having unexpected problems with your boat.

Every once in a while you're hit with technical difficulties, no matter what type of watercraft you have. This is one of the most annoying setbacks when you're looking forward to just having a carefree day on the water, but it's bound to happen. This is just one of the joys that come along with being a boat owner.

14. Having a name for your boat unique to you and your life.

One of the many interesting things that make up the lake culture is the fact that many people name their boats. They can range from basic to funny, but they are unique to each and every owner, and often have interesting and clever meanings behind them.

15. There's no better place you'd rather be in the summer.

Summer is your all-time favorite season, mostly because it's spent at the lake. Whether you're floating in the cool water under the sun, or taking a boat ride as the sun sets, you don't have a care in the world at that moment. The people that don't understand have probably never experienced it, but it's what keeps you coming back every year.


Cover Image Credit: Haley Harvey

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

21 Things To Do In Blacksburg, VA This Summer When You're Bored

Despite loving all the free time that summer in Blacksburg has to offer, there comes a time that there is simply too much time in a day and that's when boredom strikes.

86
views

Being bored is like the unwanted summer trend — it's bound to happen at least once. So, in order to be prepared for when the boredom hits, take a look at this list for some ideas of how to spend that time!

1. Find a new show

Find a different Netflix show to binge watch — something that isn't like your normal show.

2. Take a Power Nap (or a nap in General)

Rest that pretty head of yours and give it some time off

3. Start a Garden

Succulents are really in right now and they are super easy to plant and care for! (unless you're like me and you kill anything that grows)

4. Go see that movie you've been wanting to see

Even if it's by yourself.

5. Plan a last-minute road trip

Grab your bff or S/O and hit the road. Go check out that waterfall that everyone's been posting about or that cliff diving spot that may or may not be illegal.

6. Try something new

Like yoga or running. Literally anything that you haven't done before, or in a while, counts. So, just do it.

7. Color

I'm biased on this one because this is what I do to relieve stress but when you're bored, what do you have to lose? Give it a try & it might help lower your stress levels too!

8. Browse Zillow

I do this all the time — it could easily take up an entire day

9. Figure out a way to make more money

May I suggest going through your closet and getting rid of the clothes that haven't seen the sun since you bought them?

10. Paint your nails

Honestly, self-pampering is the best way to spend your time

11. Go on a walk

Go on a walk to clear your mind of the day or current issues that have been stressing you out. Take this time out of your day to just simply be.

12. Make a cocktail

Experiment with your favorite drinks so you can have a new concoction to show your friends when tailgating season starts.

13. Browse through new hairstyles

Is it really summer if you don't switch up your hairdo?

14. Stretch

So many people underestimate the power of stretching but trust me, you will find out that you have muscles that you didn't even know existed. It's also a great way to clear your head and to just take in your surroundings.

15. Make a vision board

Even if you already have one, you can replace the things that you have already completed with new things that you want to conquer in the coming year!

16. Go through your pictures

On Facebook. On your phone. On your computer. If you're anything like me, this could take multiple days to go through them all. Plus, what better way to kill some time than traveling down memory lane?

17. Go through your emails

If you're only of those people who just read the important stuff and leave everything else then this one is for you! Clean up that inbox and minimize the junk that's in it!

18. Update your resume

Or learn how to make a resume. Either way, it's important to have an up-to-date one so you can have it ready to go when you have a new job opportunity.

19. Pick a book in the Bible & start reading

It's very intimidating to say "read the bible" because let's face it, that thing is huge & it will stare you down until you walk away. But seriously, grab your Bible, take it outside, and just open it up to one of the books to start reading.

20. Organize something

There is always something in your life that can be organized. Maybe your closet needs some help or your bathroom cabinet has gotten a little to junky. Oh, don't forget about your car — I'm sure that could use a bit of help.

21. Call up an old friend

Yes, I said call. It takes up a lot more time than a simple "hey" text or an email with a life update. Besides, it's a lot more personal and I'm sure they would love to hear your voice.

Cover Image Credit:

Hannah King

Related Content

Facebook Comments