Why New Year’s Resolutions Suck, and Why You Never Follow Them

Devyn Marie, Lead Editor

Welcome to a new Ted Talk from your favorite local pessimist. I’m here to help you understand the superstitions around New Year’s Resolutions, and convince you of why they are the most ridiculous thing since unsliced bread. 


The New Year’s Resolution phenomenon started 4 score years ago with the Babylonians. Now, the Babylonians began their year around mid-march, which makes infinitely more sense because of… well- the March Equinox, or the first day of spring. Flowers bloom, new beginnings arise, and the Earth restarts its orbit around the sun. During this time, “resolutions” were much more dignified and purposeful. Babylonians celebrated the new year by planting crops, crowning a new king, and praying to Gods in the promise that they would repay their debts. It was a complete reset. So the next time you roll your eyes and think that it is only the modern-day human in a frenzy over New Year’s Eve, remember we have been clinking glasses in excitement for a very long time.


Fast-forward to 2021, where we sit on a couch like the lazy lubberworts we are and watch a crystal ball descend from a flagpole in Times Square. December 31st is a night of drunken regrets and meaningless hopes for a skinny body, self-confidence, and an end to our failed relationships. We spend the entirety of the holiday season playing Cinderella thinking that when the clock strikes 12, our cheat month of December will be wiped away and the carriage will cease to turn back into the ugly pumpkin it’s always been. Don’t be fooled. It is not going to “be your year.”


Here’s the problem with New Year’s Resolutions and why only 8 percent of the 50 that make resolutions actually keep them: a resolution is not a goal. A resolution is an aspiration. Chad cannot say he’s going to go to the gym 6 times a day and drink a protein shake and call it good. Not only is it unrealistic, but it’s not a plan. The fault lies in execution. So first, we need to define the difference between an aspiration and a goal. 


An aspiration would be, “I want to read more.” You can then turn that into a measurable goal, “I want to read 10 pages of a book per day.” 


Whatever it is, make it realistic and reachable for you. That is how you succeed. 


No, you aren’t going to start going to the gym 4 times a week and never miss a workout just because you say you want to. 

No, you aren’t going to completely change your diet overnight and stop eating all the foods you love just because you say you want to.

No, you aren’t going to magically sleep soundly for 9 hours every night and wake up at 6 a.m. every morning just because you say you want to. 

No, you aren’t going to develop an effective study routine in one week just because you say you want to. 


Repeat after me: Master. Showing. Up 


Open the book, make the flashcards, set the alarm, make one healthy meal at home per week, walk through the gym doors. You don’t even have to get on the elliptical… I promise I won’t tell. Practice making the habit because we as humans make impenetrable habits that are just as hard to make as they are to break. No one ever said it was easy to change your life. 


You got this 🙂