New Year’s Resolutions: An unrealistic goal?


New Year’s resolutions are a common occurrence across the world. Many make them, some stick to them and some fail. It’s a new year, so that means a new you right? Maybe, but Maddi is still the same person she was last month.

As we approach February, your Near Year’s Resolution may have begun to trail off. Every year millions of people make New Year’s resolutions. Some of the most popular resolutions include, losing weight or eating healthier, starting a new hobby, drinking less alcohol or stopping smoking.

image depicting weight loss

But according to a study in America, around 80% of resolutions fail by February. This could be down to many things such as setting yourself an unrealistic goal, or just simply giving in to temptation.

Giving in to temptation

For the past few years I have chosen not to make a New Year’s resolution. Before that I said I would lose weight or exercise more. I started well, as most people do, but actually ended up putting on weight because the temptation of eating a lot and sitting on the sofa or in bed drew me in more than the idea of actually doing exercise and eating a salad.

Most of the time, people like me, who are easily distracted, or easily tempted to stray from the path, are destined to fail at things like New Year’s resolutions. I cannot think of a time where I ever succeeded past March at the very latest. I’ve never become a new person, and I’ve rarely changed my habits. I like the routine and the life that I have.

Often, for me, setting myself a goal at a specific time with a specific time frame only leads to stress and trying to do too much. I have often felt overworked, like the last little bit of butter you try to spread over two slices of toast but it isn’t quite enough. When I set myself an additional task, or a goal, such as a New Year’s resolution, then that’s even more toast! I put too much pressure on myself, if I don’t achieve what I set out to do straight away then I am a failure.

Setting yourself up to fail

Setting yourself up to fail is just a sure way of causing all sorts of problems for yourself, such as feeling low, or depressed. If you put too much pressure on yourself to lose weight because it’s a new year, or eat healthier, you might start to suffer from some form of dysphoria.

image of a stressed person at their desk

These are worse case scenarios of course – not everyone feels this way when they do not succeed at something as menial as a New Year’s resolution. You can just set yourself the same resolution again next year, and then the next, and the next, until you do succeed. But then I ask myself, what is the point? If you keep failing, why are you still setting yourself the same tasks? If you really want to do something why do you have to set yourself that task at New Year?

Be happy

Now every New Year I set myself one achievable, ongoing resolution – be happy. Because that’s what everyone should do, be happy. In the end, that is what your end goal would hopefully be with any resolution, one would think. As long as you are happy with yourself then what does it matter when you achieve certain things, or when you set yourself that goal. Set yourself a goal every day – live, and be happy.