Why New Year’s Resolutions Are Beneficial

At the beginning of each year, people around the world set goals they wish to achieve in order to better themselves. These resolutions can range from simplistic, like reading more often, to more challenging, like losing weight. While they may seem impossible and are often abandoned, following through with them only nets positive results. Setting attainable goals for yourself gives you a sense of purpose throughout the year, and immensely boosts your confidence upon completion. Many see New Year’s Resolutions as useless, but if you put in the effort to reach the milestones you set for yourself, you will see that resolutions are only what you make of them.

So are resolutions good to have? Of course they are! The main reason many aren’t achieved is because they’re too unspecific. When they are created to be specific, measurable in time, and realistic, resolutions can really help challenge a person to improve their life. New Year’s resolutions can seem difficult to achieve if they are too broad, but if you break up a big goal into a lot of smaller ones, it is easier to achieve. “Small and tangible one-day-at-a-time goals work best.” said New York University nutritionist Lisa R. Young.

When making resolutions, you should remember the acronym SMART, which was developed in 1981 by the journal Management Review. S is for specific: this means you can not be vague with your resolution. Instead of saying, “I want to save money,” make an actual plan on how you intend on doing this. M is for measurable. If your plan is to lose weight than make sure to check your progression and see how well you are doing/following up on that plan. A is for achievable. When making your goal, try not to think up something unreasonable. If you want to save money and become wealthier, your goal should not be to earn millions in that same year but to start with a gradual increase in money. R is for relevant. Your New Year’s resolution should be something that you really care about and will actually benefit from. If you plan to go to the gym more but you are already in tip top shape, you should probably shift your focus on to something else. Finally T is for Time-Bound. This is similar to measurable. You should establish a timeline and plan for when you want to accomplish each step of your goal. Also, you should choose a resolution that can be reasonably done in a timely manner.

According to psychologist Charles Duhigg, when approached effectively, breaking bad habits in the new year can easily be done. Mr. Duhigg suggests to break down a habit into a cue, routine, and reward to understand why you do the habit, what happens after you do the habit, and possible alternatives to the habit. He also suggests to give yourself a reward after starting a new habit so that a new habit doesn’t seem like a punishment or something negative. If you go on a run, for example, and then rush through a shower to start the rest of your day, you are left with negative feelings toward running even though it puts work towards of your New Year’s resolution. Perhaps taking a long shower, or buying your favorite food after a run will feel more rewarding rather than upsetting in that manner.

It’s easy to feel unmotivated to act productively toward New Year’s resolutions, but sometimes the advertising of brands and companies during this time of the year is all that is needed for a little push toward the “new” you. On average, last year, 12% of gym members signed up in January when products for weight loss and healthier lifestyles were advertised. There has been a lot of negativity toward companies who use the New Year as a marketing strategy for new customers, but endless commercials advertising discounted deals for things like Weight Watchers or gym memberships might be an advantage. Starting a new habit, like working out or losing weight could be difficult when gym memberships can cost up to $800 each year, but discounted memberships can provide a financial advantage for a fresh start in 2019.

One thing to remember to also help keep resolutions is that they do not need to be complicated. For example, a common resolution people have is to read more books. You can go to your local library to check out books free of cost (which also helps to save money, and there are also numerous apps out there free of cost that anyone can download, such as Wattpad and the Amazon Kindle app. For those who prefer to buy hard copy books instead of getting them from the library, there are stores to check out such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble to purchase from. For teenagers, Barnes & Noble is offering lowered priced books to Pre-K through twelfth grade students (when signing up for a membership). Now why could this resolution be valuable in the long run? According to the foundation, One World Literacy, reading is important for concentration, memory, discipline, vocabulary, and it can also help build self esteem. This new year could be a fresh start to a new positive outlook on life and education, but it all begins with a resolution.

Resolutions are very common. Statistics show that 40-45% of American adults make one or more resolutions every year. Out of those who do decide to make resolutions, statistics also show that 46% of people keep their resolutions for more than half the year. Resolutions can easily be attainable and achievable, and they do not always fall apart. So let’s make some resolutions!