New Years Resolutions are Counterproductive

Eduardo Alvarez/ Opinion Director

We all know how it works. we tell ourselves we’ll fix our bad habits and replace them with good ones. Eat better, work out and everything in between. And then we do none of these things.

Having resolutions is fundamental to correcting errors, but relegating them to a few days at the beginning of each year makes us take them less seriously.

After the first few days transpire, they cease to be New Year’s resolution and become little white lies we tell ourselves.       

Perhaps the most egregious problem with these resolutions is their disregard for a knowledge of oneself; which is important in planning personal advances.

This is because, as we plan, we’re carried by the holiday euphoria, and afflicted with a sense of self-guilt after Christmas indulgences.

In other words, the resolutions most likely to remain unfulfilled are New Year’s resolutions. Real resolutions require reflection, and are often carried out in silence.

Far too often do we brandish our New Year’s resolutions within the flair of social media, rendering it an empty promise.

If we truly want to do productive things, we first have to change the nature of how we communicate their importance. One possible change in this regard may be the name. Instead of “New Year’s Resolution” which implies its confinement to the first days of January, we could it rename it the “year’s resolution” which would give it a greater sense of permanence.

Equally important is the redefinition of the word “resolution” itself. A resolution is not a wish or even a goal, but a consecrated plan of action.

There has to be a deeper sense of the importance of self-promises.

It may have been that New Year resolutions were useful tools for change at some point, but they degraded into uselessness in the recent past.

And of course, the lack of seriousness in terms of our promises may be symptoms of wider societal trends; issues that require elaboration beyond one specific example.

But anything that invites meditation into the way we think is typically worth discussing.

So that perhaps the best New Year’s resolution we could possibly conjure up in 2019 is the notion that important resolutions have to be reformulated in a way conducive to fulfillment and personal growth.


The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

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