Why you shouldn’t set New Year’s resolutions

Megan Harper

New Year’s: a blank slate, a fresh start, an opportunity to forget the mistakes and failures of the last year and focus on the one ahead. The only problem? Waking up on January 1 is just like any other day of the week. Sure, the numbers at the end of the date change, but it doesn’t feel all that different, because it’s not.
That’s why I hate New Year’s resolutions. The likelihood that you’ll follow up on a promise you made yourself diminishes the moment you realize that the homework you’ve been putting off for the last three days is still due tomorrow, or the dishes you left in the sink last night still need to be cleaned.
I applaud anyone who’s ever followed through on a resolution, because I don’t think I ever have, and I have a feeling most other people haven’t either. It’s definitely easier said than done, though I do think the problem begins with people setting goals they were unlikely to achieve in the first place.
Maybe I’m too pessimistic, or maybe I have the wrong mindset about this kind of thing, but setting goals based on a change in date seems futile to me. I’d compare it to getting engaged on Valentine’s Day. Most likely, you’re not doing it because it’s something you want, but because society pressures you into thinking you should because of the holiday.
We should have goals year-round, and while that might sound obvious, I feel like it’s somewhat uncommon for people to make major life changes without an explicit reason. We’ve learned the hard way that life as you know it can be ripped away from you in an instant. Why not spend money on a gym membership you’re going to use once, not because it’s a new year, but because you never know what tomorrow will bring?
I think we’ve all learned what we really need in the last year. We’ve had plenty of time to reflect on ourselves and what we want, and to prioritize what’s important to us. Without even realizing, we’ve all had a year of self-growth, and there were no resolutions involved.
At the end of the day, I think it all comes down to societal standards, and I think it’s harder to be affected by something like that when we’ve spent so much time isolated, without regular social interaction, physically further away from those around us.
I’m not completely opposed to the idea of a fresh start. While a year is simply a unit of measurement for Earth taking a trip around the sun, I like what it symbolizes. We’re not off to a great start, but I truly hope that this year is better than the last. I know this isn’t the way I envisioned my senior year to be, but I’m trying to make the most of it. You all should too.