Are New Year’s Resolutions Worth the Effort?

November 16th, 2015 by Pearson

We all make and break them, but resolutions are the little black dress of New Years – they never go out of fashion. That fact alone is reason enough to investigate exactly how long people have been partaking in this madness and whether it’s really worth the effort. We all make and break them, but resolutions are the little black dress of New Years – they never go out of fashion. That fact alone is reason enough to investigate exactly how long people have been partaking in this madness and whether it’s really worth the effort.

Who’s to blame?

It’s hard to believe, but people have been making these noble promises for more than 3000 years. At the start of every new calendar period, Romans made resolutions to Janus – the god of beginnings and transitions – vowing to be or do better. They believed that if they stuck to their commitments, they’d be rewarded with good fortune.

Many must have benefited from this deal, because they named the first month of every year after him. Now you know why we call that period January.

Did you make any resolutions?

A new year brings many changes for students especially. You have different classes to attend, other lecturers to get to know and unique testing styles to decipher. Academically, you may have vowed to work harder, party less or go after those distinctions. Socially, you probably gave up smoking, heavy drinking and dating douche bags.

Regardless of what you committed to, the potential rewards from sticking it out are amazing. Why then, according to statistics, do only 8% of us actually follow through on our New Year’s resolutions?

Why are resolutions so easy to break?

Technology has turned us into instant gratification junkies. Impulsively, we always choose to meet our current desires before our long-term goals – especially when those involve losing weight, quitting a habit or leaving that jerk for good.

We still make resolutions because special dates like New Year’s inspire us and highlight the things we need in order to achieve our dreams. Imagine what can be achieved if we take advantage of this surge of motivation.

Can you stop the bad cycle?

Yes. People are more likely to succeed at a project when it’s broken into manageable pieces. The bigger your challenge, the more intimidated you are at the thought of facing it. For instance, vowing to lose weight involves eating healthier, giving up junk food and exercising more. It’s no wonder the stress of it all makes us buckle like a cheap belt.

The true value of resolutions may simply be in the hope they give us. Even though you didn’t lose weight, quit smoking or pass all your subjects, these things are not impossible to achieve. Every year is a brand new opportunity to go after what you want, again.

Remember the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Nothing will change unless you do.