By now many of you will have either a). thought about making a New Year’s resolution b). made a New Years resolution c). declared that New Year’s resolutions are silly and no one ever sticks to them, or perhaps even d). have made a New Year’s resolution and proceeded to break it. [Bonus points if you’ve done more than one of the above].
It’s also highly likely that by now many of you have also ruminated on the merits of making New Year’s resolutions in the first place, given that no one really seems to stick to them beyond a month or two, after which point they are forgotten or ignored.
From a logical perspective, the fact that millions of people only decide to change something about their lives at a specific point in time each year, is absurd. What makes it all the more fascinating is that more often than not, these resolutions involve goals that people have not spontaneously settled on, but which have been bubbling away in the background for quite some time. Continuously breaking them year after year, whether you want to call it a rite of passage or not, seems even sillier and perhaps in the long-term damaging.
This may appear extreme, but consider that we are constantly told that the world doesn’t owe us anything, if you want something you have to go out and graft for it. Waiting for the next year to declare that there is something you want to set out and do, is a waste of time and a complete contradiction of this. Meeting your goals also means changing something, working to get there – a change in the date isn’t going to do this for you, so what exactly is wrong with starting now, as soon as you want to make the change? It also teaches you nothing about discipline by constantly setting up and failing to meet the challenges you set.
Now that’s not to say that New Year’s resolutions are all bad – they can breed positive changes in people, allow people to reflect on changes they want to make to their lives, and give people the push they need to actually make them. But what if we simply dropped the “New Year’s” part and just kept the “resolution”? Then perhaps because people wouldn’t be tempted to put off whatever it is they’ve been putting off any longer, they’d just go out and do it…