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  • Writer's pictureThe Merge

New Year’s resolutions come with an extreme burden leading to their ultimate failure

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

It is that time of the year again! Tis the season to set goals for the new year.

what shuld be New Year’s resolutions

Every year at the end of December people love to set goals and objectives for the new year that can lead to a meaningful change in their lives. Whether we promise to exercise everyday and get in shape or finally quit smoking, but let's face it: We don't really stick to our New Year’s resolutions.

Millions of people put their hopes and dreams for self-improvement into a shiny set of New Year’s resolutions. But, alas, fail to do so.

It is no surprise that you might look for advice on the internet or consult lifestyle gurus to help you with all kinds of ways to stay on track with your resolutions. But let's face it: It is pretty pointless to wait all year to decide on a few things that you might want to stop doing or change.

Despite best efforts being made, most people feel discouraged easily by their lack of willpower within the first few days of the new year itself and quickly abandon their goals. Several studies and surveys have shown that, by February, as many as 80% of New Year’s resolutions will have been abandoned. Why is it so difficult to keep New Year's resolutions? Why do we still try new resolutions every new year? What is the psychology behind it?

It’s part aspiration and part tradition.

"We tend to set resolutions because the New Year serves as a cyclical marker of time during which we reevaluate and take inventory on our lives,” says Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, clinical psychologist and professor at Yeshiva University in New York City. “The drive for making resolutions is motivated by this punctuation in time, like a yearly college graduation, activates hope and expectations for what we hope to achieve going forward.” This hope and imagination invites us to imagine our future with an “improved” version of ourselves. This idea of who we’d like to be can be exciting and motivating—at least for a little while.

If you think of it, do we really have to wait for 1st January to make a resolution for the betterment of our lives? Is that why most resolutions fail? New Year resolutions come with a sort of burden and expectations to stick to it whether you are ready to make any changes in your lives or not.

It comes with a "have to" attitude instead of a "want to" attitude.

What can you do to stick to your resolutions?

1. Start Your Resolution When You're Ready

Rather than making your resolution on January 1st, decide to change your habits when you're actually ready to commit. Whether that means you wait a few days or you put off launching your goal for a few months, delaying your goal is better than abandoning it altogether.

2. Step inside the resolution with a plan

You can aim for success by getting prepared first. Whether you need to get organized before you change your financial habits or you need to do some more research before you commit to losing weight, establish what steps you'll need to take to stick to your change.

Only once you've sufficiently prepared yourself, take action. This will make you have more willpower, and your resolutions will be more likely to stick.

3. Be specific with your resolutions

One of the biggest reasons people fail to keep their New Year's resolutions is because they're not specific enough, according to psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert, author of "Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days".

For example, resolving to "exercise more" or "lose weight" are easy ways to set yourself up for failure, as they lack ways to mark progress and are unlikely to keep you motivated throughout the year. Instead, try making your goal specific, like running a particular 5K you have circled on the calendar or losing 10 pounds by a certain date.

"It's easier to drop out or walk away when you set goals or resolutions that are vague," Alpert told Business Insider. "When it's really detailed and specific, it's harder to walk away from it."

Finally, don't succumb to the pressures of having a New Years resolution to discuss with your study group. You can simply say that you don't have any!

Remember, you are only making these resolution for yourself so make them whenever you are ready.

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