New Year’s resolutions celebrate inability to accomplish goals

As 2021 comes to a close and everyone starts to prepare for 2022, many people reflect on what they have and have not accomplished within the past year. New Year’s resolutions are often a byproduct of inner reflections. 

New Year’s resolutions are a stale societal ritual of giving up on current or future goals. Upon hearing the phrase “New Year’s resolutions,” you cannot help but think of how these resolutions last two, four, maybe even eight weeks max before the majority of people give up on them. In fact, many people find themselves setting the same resolutions year after year. The only reasonable conclusion is that resolutions are ineffective. 

The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they have become a running joke about giving up on your goals. 

Every “gym rat” knows that at the start of January, the gym will be busy. Gyms owners know this, and around the end of the year, they start to lower their prices, because they know they will soon have an influx of members. But come March and April, the gym is back to normal capacity after people have given up on their resolutions. 

Part of the reason some people may have a hard time sticking to a resolution is because they may have little to no motivation to complete their resolution. It’s very likely that the resolution was set as a societal obligation. 

Another issue with New Year’s resolutions is that society picks one day, one day, a whole year that they set goals for themselves. For the majority of people, that is the only day a year that they set goals. One day out of 365 days that they decide to better their lives. One day, when there are 364 other days when they could turn their life around. 

However, let’s not start bashing goal setting just yet. The issue with New Year’s resolutions is not setting resolutions themselves, but the culture that surrounds the resolutions. 

There is nothing wrong with goal setting. The problem is that society focuses almost absolutely on perfectly completing goals, and no one teaches you what to do when you fall short in meeting your goals, which will happen to everyone at one point or another. Fortunately, you can find anything on the internet, and there are a number of different life coaches (life coaches, inspirational speakers, therapists, and dietitians) who have dedicated their online presence to teaching people how to meet their goals in an maintainable way. 

So this New Years, feel free to set goals for yourself. But when you ultimately fall short of what you were hoping, do not just give up. Keep trying. Set new goals throughout the year. Do not just get hung up on New Year’s resolutions that barely make it to March.