Okay, hands up if you totally forgot to make a New Year’s Resolution. Because I did, and, to be honest, there’s guilt to not making a New Year’s Resolution. Everyone around you is talking about the “new year, new me” mindset, or how they’re already so successful in accomplishing their goal. But there’s also guilt in eventually falling out of that goal. For example, in 2019, my goal was to go to the gym more. Then, uh-oh! Global pandemic! The gym shut down and suddenly there was no way for me to resolve that pesky resolution.
Even smaller changes occur on the regular that keep us from accomplishing our resolutions. *cough cough* Midterms *cough cough* or even a different class schedule. I had all the time in the world during my fall quarter, and now suddenly my free time has been zapped by classes and homework. Once the winter quarter started, and I realized I totally spaced on making a resolution, I felt like no matter what I said, I wouldn’t have time for it. So why make one?
An article from Forbes states: “Many people will make New Year’s resolutions, however, the majority will also fail to achieve them. But making resolutions is still a good idea—with plenty of positive effects.” Dr. Tracy Brower goes on to list four key benefits to creating a resolution, one being intention, then hope and engagement, followed by responsibility, and finally, inspiration. I don’t know about you, but those all sound pretty positive. Dr. Bower sees that making “New Year’s resolutions is inherently hopeful and optimistic.” We could all use a little more of that, right? And you may even “inspire those around you” by focusing on your own “future and… improvement.” Who doesn’t love self-improvement? That’s the whole point of a New Year’s Resolution! So, should I make a resolution and start now?
An article from Everyday Health disputes, “… only 46 percent of resolvers reported success at sticking to their resolutions six months after the new year.” But why? “‘The problem is that we often set unrealistic goals,’ explains Seth Gillihan, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist… ‘We try to make a really big change and we try to do it all at once.’” Creating positive change in your life is still possible. The recommendation by psychologists Dr. Camilla Nonterah and Dr. Seth Gillihan “[to] boost your chances for success in adopting healthier habits” is to “choose small steps rather than grand leaps and gestures, and be strategic with each of those steps along the way.”
It’s never too late to make a New Year’s Resolution. In fact, I still haven’t made one! But it’s also never too late to change that resolution. To let it adapt to you. Or to completely disregard it and start over! Or to just… not make one. Don’t let the guilt from not making a resolution, or making one and not following through with it, keep you from constantly striving to be your best self. New year, new you. New month, new you. New day, new you.