With the first month of the new year halfway through, many find themselves in new circumstances and positions that they must uphold. For some, however, that beginning remains just that, a beginning that never progresses beyond the initial step. Everyone at some point in their life has made a new year’s resolution.
Whether the determined plan of the annual goal setting is to exercise more regularly, be a better person overall, or study harder to get better grades, people make these goals for the next year in hopes that they will succeed instantaneously. This raises the question of whether or not we should make these goals for ourselves if only very few will actually follow through with them.
According to ‘Statistic Brain’, in a research study conducted January 1, 2017 in a reflection of 2016’s new year goals, out of the forty-one percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions, only about nine percent of people felt they were successful in their endeavors.
The nine percent of people prove that there is some success to making resolutions for the new year, but the low number can be disheartening when debating on making a resolution in the first place.
On the other hand, forty-eight percent of people felt that they had infrequent success and forty-two percent of that group felt that they never had success. This is not surprising since that these goals can be pushed aside so very easily if not constantly maintained.
The lack of consistency could be due to people’s immediacy to declare their resolution rather than give their plans thoughtful consideration or even smaller goals that could lead up to a larger one in the long run.
Caught up in the moment of New Year’s spirit, many people will make a simple resolution to go through within the new year. What is being forgotten in these declarations being yelled to the world is that these people who are attempting to take advantage of the shiny new year still have their normal days and routines to go through and work around. They forget their own realities.
For example, if a college student wanted to lose weight by going to the gym, they would need to manage their studies (in whatever manner that requires) and then make time while they are not too busy to go to the gym.
In most situations though, the average and everyday college student may finish their work, only to find that they want to use their spare time to spend time with their various friends. The new year’s goal of losing weight ultimately gets pushed to the backburner. The length the being put to the wayside depends on the determination of the person to pick it back up again, which inevitably varies between individuals.
‘Statistic Brain’ also considered the length by which these resolutions last when building their case. When asked how long their resolutions usually last, 72 percent claimed they remained steady within the first week. However, as the interval goes from the first week to the second week, then to one month, and finally then six months, the percentage of people still holding strong drops ten percent with each interval.
The question then remains, are these new year’s resolutions actually necessary? Are we simply making these goals for ourselves only to push them aside later? Should we bother with them in the first place?
With the trend of new year’s resolutions being uncertain and eventually abandoned, the choice to pursue these new potential opportunities has become a placeholder or an answer to small talk rather than a thoroughly planned goal for one’s self. As a placeholder, these goals (in the long run) lose their meaning and become frivolous hopes rather than dedicated long and/or short term goals.
In the end, what makes these resolutions at the start of each calendar year any different from simply deciding to make a change? Is the lull of changing one’s self for the future so unimportant in the grand scheme that only a holiday can invoke it?
The plan to change suddenly because a day calls for it might as well be a wasted endeavor. Unless the choice is made with a thorough plan for the future, the results may never be successful and people will ultimately continue to fail their own goals.