At the start of every new year, lots of people make goals for themselves in hopes to fulfill them in the year. While this is a good way to acknowledge the fact that there is room for improvement in your life, resolutions do the opposite of what they are meant to do: rather than motivate, they set up a system of failure and incorrectly characterize goal-making by giving a false pretense that making and meeting a goal is effortless. To put it simply, New Year’s resolutions suck.
New Year’s resolutions have a beautiful facade—the idea that you can make a goal at the start of the year and because of that, easily obtain it. What many fail to realize is that goals require a lot of commitment to get done. It is easy to lose motivation and not plan your goals accordingly. You tend to make your goals very vague—a bad habit to get into when you want to meet an objective. Narrowing down your aspirations into one sentence simplifies it and makes it seem more tangible than it is. For example, ‘work out more’ or ‘develop a hobby’ won’t help you be successful in reaching your goal. The process of developing a good goal would involve setting time limits or creating a schedule that helps you maintain your progress, such as taking time to go to the gym or finishing a project by a self-set deadline. It sets people up for failure because they end up not putting in effort and then losing hope at their lack of short term results.
It is understandable that if you have a weak start to the year by not meeting goals right away, it can be really discouraging. When you lack the results you want, you start to use the time frame of the first few months of a new year to convince yourself that success is not within reach. Having this mindset will inevitably lead you to not want to fulfill your objectives and instead, validate and glorify your failure as a joke. This normalizes resolutions as things that aren’t meant to be met but rather something that can be failed then laughed about later, like making memes that mock failure or excuses disguised as jokes in everyday conversation. It provides a way out of work, an alternative option which gets rid of the incentive of making goals in the first place.
A typical resolution is meant to improve a person’s quality of life. If you were really that interested in self help, why wait until New Year’s to make and meet a goal? Every day can be considered a fresh start. Why not set your goals at any other time? If you are dedicated to meeting your goal, you should work towards it regardless of the time of the year. Stop making excuses and vague unrealistic goals, and stop putting them off until the new year to feel like you’re doing something productive.