New year, same resolutions

Every year people choose unattainable resolutions instead of simple and productive goals

Audrey Taylor, Staffer

With the start of the year 2020, many people set out to make this decade better than the last. To do this, some people make resolutions to better themselves but instead it ends in disappointment.

3… 2… 1… And it’s a new year. A fresh start. You start the year surrounded by friends and family. Dressed up and looking your best. Optimistic about this upcoming year. You are feeling invincible. Nothing can touch you. “This year will be different,” you naively say. “New Year, New Me!” You choose a goal: exercise, cleaning, a new language. They all sound easy enough, that is, until the buzz of the new year wears off and you regret promising to do anything the night before.  

Every year people choose to make resolutions and every year, people feel discouraged by the end of the year. Some people are cynical when it comes to New Year’s resolutions and criticize people for being hopeful when making them. However, the reason for the disappointment that’s felt every year is that most resolutions are unattainable.  

One of the most common resolutions is to exercise. Every year without fail, Bayshore is crowded with people on January 1. However, within a week, it’s back to normal as people start to forget about their resolutions. The main problem with this resolution is that people are too broad or too specific. Most exercise resolutions are to exercise more or to exercise every day of the week. With the first resolution there is no clear way to achieve this goal.  

A better goal would be to choose to try to exercise one more day than you typically do and stay consistent at your regular rate. The second resolution listed is too specific and this can create a problem because usually, it’s unattainable even if it’s to exercise three times a week when you rarely exercise. These types of resolutions become a challenge because exercise, to the extent you intend to do, is not already worked into their typical routine. Finding time to exercise when you aren’t used to can be difficult and eventually deter you from continuing at all when you mess up some.  

A way to prevent making these unattainable goals is to look at your schedule and be realistic about how much you’ll be willing to do.  

Another common goal is cleaning. Most everyone wants a clean room or house, but it rarely stays that way. Some parents demand a clean house after New Year’s Eve, but by January 5, it will be back to its usual mess. With the Marie Kondo method more people have been diving into a deep clean but a lot of the time they abandon the project halfway through because life gets in the way.  

A better resolution would be to tidy up a little bit and schedule time each week or month to repeat the process so it stays clean. If a deep clean is desired, a better way to do this is to schedule a day or week to dedicate to it on a break, so you know you’ll get it done if you want it to be.  

Along with improving the body and home, some people want to improve their minds. People choose to change their personality and conquer their mental health just because it is a New Year. While it is wonderful to try and make a better life for yourself by improving your mental health, choosing this as a resolution is highly unrealistic. If you aim to change your personality and become a better person, you will eventually find that this is impossible. Your personality is hard to change because it’s who you are.  

A healthier goal would be to try and be kinder by doing simple acts to make people happier or become more confident by conquering a specific goal. The other resolution to improve your mental health can also be dangerous because you’ll be disappointed if you aren’t entirely fixed (whatever that means) by the end of the year and feel like you failed.  

I wouldn’t recommend making a mental health resolution because you should have goals to try and help yourself but, by creating a deadline of a year, you are setting yourself up for failure.   

Resolutions can be helpful and encouraging if they are done correctly. However, most people make resolutions that cause them to get discouraged or give up altogether. By taking these tips, hopefully, you can find a decision that will encourage you instead of discouraging you.