Should New Year’s Resolutions Be Left in the Past?

Study Says Most Americans Abandon Resolutions After Two Months

Anna Earl, Assistant Editor

At the beginning of every new year, a common tradition is to make a New Year’s resolution. The tradition is believed to have been started around 4,000 years ago by the Babylonians. They would make promises to their gods that they would pay their debts, and return anything that they believed they had borrowed. They believed that if they kept the promises, the gods would give them a great year, but if they didn’t, the gods would get angry.

Now, New Year’s resolutions are seen as a fun way to set a goal for the coming year. Most modern resolutions are focused around improving personal health and wellness. This desire for self improvement can be good; however most people have difficulty keeping their resolution throughout the year. Around this time every year, many people might be regretting their decision to make a resolution. This happens when lifestyle changes are made quickly, and typically lead to people giving up their resolutions after only a few weeks because they are overwhelmed by the choice they have made. A survey by People magazine interviewed 2,000 people, and found that most participants abandoned their resolution after 36 days.

“No, I didn’t make any resolutions,” said junior VJ Post. “I think the new year is just a nice day, and if you wanted to change your life you should do it then.”

The survey found that there are major challenges to keeping resolutions: not seeing progress, having trouble keeping track of progress, and having trouble with consistently doing their new habit. Some of the best ways to help make sure that a resolution continues throughout the year is to find someone to tackle your goal with, instead of alone. A study by the business magazine Forbes found that people who worked together were more likely to continue the goal because they had someone to push them. It also found that when there’s an emotional attachment to a resolution, you’re also more likely to keep working towards it because you have more motivation.

Most New Year’s resolutions are just for fun, unlike for the Babylonians. While it’s always fun to try new things, sometimes they aren’t as enjoyable or attainable as they seem, and that’s okay too. If a resolution is made, but becomes too difficult, it could always be changed a little bit so there is still progress made towards a goal. At the end of the day, working towards improvement is an accomplishment in itself.

While it may be common to make a resolution, some people enjoy other traditions instead, such as junior Rory Essenmacher. “I didn’t make a New Years resolution,” said Essenmacher. “I feel like I’m in a pretty good place in my life and didn’t feel like a needed to make one.” Instead, her tradition is to have sparkling cider that she drinks when the ball drops at midnight.