Exposing the truth behind New Year’s resolutions

By Lark Commanday Jan 17, 2020


Whenever the end of the year (or in this case the end of a decade) comes around and a new one begins, people scramble to come up with resolutions that are quickly broken.

Most people strive toward a healthy lifestyle by focusing on eating, behaviors, relationships, exercise and so on.

According to a 2019 survey done by Peter Economy, about 71 percent of individuals said that their main goal for the new year was to diet or eat healthier while 65 percent said they wanted to exercise more.

Unfortunately, most of the efforts put into making these resolutions often end in failure and leaving people lost and confused.

The idea of new year’s resolutions is a social construct.

The mere concept of creating new years resolutions is so deeply rooted in American culture that there are statistics on the most popular ones every year.

According to the online publication Inc.com, about 60 percent of people make New Year’s resolutions, but only about eight percent actually continue throughout the year.

If anything new year’s resolutions are more about having hope rather than setting realistic goals.

It is a way to give value to our wildest dreams, to analyze personal dissatisfactions and to make up for the mistakes of the past.

The idea of New Year’s resolutions began about 4000 years ago according to How Stuff Works.

The Babylonians celebrated the new year with an 11-day celebration in the middle of March but the ancient Egyptians marked the new year by the Nile River’s annual flood.

Eventually, Roman emperor Julius Cesar moved the first day of the year to January 1 in honor of the Roman god of beginnings, Janus.

Supposedly, the Babylonians also made promises to these gods hoping to have good fortune in the upcoming year and hoped to get themselves out of debt.

This tradition has obviously persisted into modern times with people placing a priority on financial stability.

One of the main issues seems to be that people think that simply having things they want to change is enough, instead of actually putting in effort to make those changes happen.

People often have problems meeting goals and keeping themselves accountable to long-term commitments which is essential when meeting personal objectives.

Too often people fall into the habit of making checklists that can easily become over- whelming instead of coming up with specific achievable goals like saving a certain amount of money from each paycheck you receive.

For a resolution to be effective, it needs to be challenging, but realistic at the same time.

The best thing to do if you are the type of person who sets resolutions to break up big goals into smaller manageable goals that are less frustrating.

An alternative to unattainable new year resolutions is to strive to be better humans all year round instead of messing up once at the beginning of the year and defaulting to “there’s always next year” as an excuse to make mindless decisions.

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