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New Year’s Resolutions: Good or Bad?

The beginning of January is a time when many people set goals for the upcoming year. These goals are often about becoming a better person on the inside, or even on the outside. To many of us, these New Year’s resolutions are customary and a habit year after year. We grew up with teachers giving out New Year’s resolution worksheets on the first day back after winter break, and seeing our parents set their new diet resolutions starting January 1st, causing many of us to never question the effectiveness of these yearlong goals. New Year’s resolutions have many benefits as well as downsides that it are important to consider before creating such long-term goals.  


Self-Awareness: As the holidays conclude the year, many of us talk with loved ones and reflect on our highs and lows. These discussions can include our best accomplishments, as well as areas where we fell short, directing us to make goals for the upcoming year to be the best version of ourselves. Goals based on these reflections can be some of the best goals, since they can be very specific after reflecting on the past year.  

Fresh Start: The beginning of a new year often makes us feel like it’s a new start: A time when anything is possible. This helps many people feel motivated to make new goals as well as work toward accomplishing those goals. The “fresh start feeling” allows us to make a huge amount of progress, since we don’t feel weighed down by a mid-year slump.   

Hope and Positivity: Starting a goal at the beginning of a new year allows people to feel hopeful about achieving these goals while thinking more positively about the process. It encourages people to start off the year on a good foot and to have a good day each day (since no bad days have happened yet). This optimistic mindset can have positive effects on your mental health and the progress of your goals.   


Procrastination: Having a year to achieve a goal is a very long time, which leads to many people putting it off. Oh, I will start doing it next month many of us say, however, some will never actually start making progress toward the goal. People will continue to push the task further and further away until it’s already the end of the year. A goal with a shorter deadline, such as a week or a month, increases the chances of people following through and achieving what they want since there is a shorter timeline. 

Uphill battle: After setting a New Year’s resolution, many of us want or even expect to see results quickly. This is unrealistic, since resolutions tend to be long-term goals. When people do not see progress being made towards their goals quickly, many of us become frustrated and lose motivation to keep working toward the goal. It’s also common for our self-worth to deteriorate when we feel that we are failing our goals.   

Anxiety: The pressure of having to achieve a New Year’s resolution can cause anxiety. There is a lot of pressure to achieve New Year’s goals, from ourselves and from society. This pressure can cause a lot of stress and make us feel anxious about how to accomplish these goals. Even if the resolution started with good intentions, the pressure of having to achieve it can be a major point of stress and anxiety.  

Although setting resolutions for the New Year can seem like an effective way to become the best version of yourself, there are a lot of downsides underneath the surface. Take the time to figure out if setting year-long goals is best for you, or if monthly goals will help you stay on track!  

Rhama is a business management major at the University of Alabama who has a passion for writing and journalism. She wrote articles for her school newspaper all throughout high school and has taken many journalism classes over the years. She enjoys writing about lifestyle, food, interior design, and just sharing her own experiences with readers. When Rhama is not writing, she loves cooking or watching reality shows!
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