New Year's Resolutions: Why It’s More Counterproductive Than Helpful

New Year’s Resolutions: What We Really Think

Make goals when you’re ready — no matter the time of the year.

Picture this: It’s the start of the year, and gyms are crowded. Then, as the year goes by, gyms see fewer people, even in the evenings or on weekends. You might be familiar with memes that point this out, the message of which circles back to the idea that many aren’t able to fulfil their New Year’s resolutions. 

If you’ve managed to commit to the gym for your resolution, kudos to you. But for many of us who aren’t able to hit our goals, it can be draining, and even demoralising. 

Image credit: Tim Mossholder

Now and into the start of January, many people will be asking you the age-old question: “What is your New Year’s resolution?” But, I’m here to beckon another point of thought instead: Are New Year’s resolutions actually effective? 

With the opportunity for introspection brought on by the pandemic, I’ve come to realise that New Year’s resolutions are overrated. That said, here’s why I think New Year’s resolutions might actually be more counterproductive than helpful, and what can be done instead. 

Also read: Our Post-Pandemic Wish List: What We Want Travel to Look Like in the Next Few Years

Debunking the “New Year” resolution

First off, if there’s anything that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that nothing is set in stone. We never know when changes are going to happen. Think of the questions that hiring managers ask, like “Where do you see yourself in five years?”. Surely, anyone who answered that question in 2015 would never have imagined that the world was going to be in that state in 2020. Any goals made during this time would’ve easily gone down the drain (with so much else going on in the world to care about). 

Thus, as difficult as it may be for some, it’s important to stay adaptable to change, especially when this change happens as a result of something out of our control. 

new year’s resolutions

Image credit: Paico Oficial

That said, why wait till the New Year to make a goal? Once again, with the prevalent lethargy and monotony generated over the past two years, bouts of inspiration are hard to come by. Seize that when you can and use those moments to set mini goals for yourself. 

Embracing the New Year for what it signifies

new year’s resolutions

Image credit: Tim Bogdanov

On top of these mini goals, why not also make them short-term instead? That is, rather than making resolutions for the year, make a goal for the month, week, or even day. Improvements should be celebrated regularly, no matter how small they are. The way to tackle the daunting uncertainty of an entire year is to make plans for a shorter, more foreseeable future. 

At the same time, remember not to beat yourself up if you don’t hit your goals. Just doing your best, whatever that may be, is good enough. Also, remember that your “best” looks different every day

Image credit: Priscilla Du Preez

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still use the ringing in of a New Year to reflect on what you’re thankful for. Whether that is a stable income, having a roof over your head, your family or friends, or anything else. Sending and receiving heartfelt messages from your loved ones is a welcome gift — any time of the year.

Also read: An Introvert’s Guide to Surviving Your Next Family Vacation

Of course, to each his own. If making New Year’s resolutions is a yearly tradition for you, we’d love to know more about your experience or how it has helped you. Let us know in the comments section below! 

Featured image credit: vesmil via Canva Pro

About Author

Cassandra Nerva
Cassandra Nerva

Cassandra seeks comfort in warm blankets, period dramas, and all things hazelnut. If she's not getting carried away with a wartime novel or decorating her house with plants & fairy lights, she's uncovering hidden gems around her as she continues to embrace her keen sense of adventure.


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