Do New Year’s Resolutions Really Matter?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines a New Year’s Resolution as “a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.”

The importance of resolutions for the upcoming year falls on the individual; one is either into it, scoffing at it, or indifferent. While setting goals can provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment, is it necessary to wait until the official turn of a new year to begin the work?

In her blog titled “The Importance of New Year’s Resolutions“, Jessica Scheuerman states, “…making a resolution shows that you have the belief and hope in your ability to change habits and become a better you.”

Speaking for myself, 2020 has felt like a dig through dry sand – there’s a hole on the beach, but grains keep falling back in, causing a lot of energy to have been expended toward a minimal result. From conversations had with others throughout the pandemic, it seems that I’m not alone. Many of us are treading water, feeling grateful for the ability to do even just that. Progress be damned – let’s just try to stay afloat!

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology performed by the University of Scranton shows that only approximately 8% of Americans who make New Year’s Resolutions are successful. That feels bleak, especially with 2020 being a banner year. However, thinking critically of this and the general purpose behind a resolution, it may have to do with what type of goal we set for ourselves and how we break that goal down into manageable parts.

In any other year, I would be on the pessimistic side of the New Year’s Resolutions, arguing that every day is an opportunity to make positive changes. While I still believe in that, I have realized over the past two years that it is important to celebrate the good things – big and small, and if the change from 2020 to 2021 gives people a sense of encouragement, strength, and hope – make that resolution. If it makes someone feel as if they are starting off with a completely clean slate – make that resolution. If it makes you feel rejuvenated and happy (without causing harm or discontent to others) – go for it – make that resolution.

What are my resolutions, you ask?

  1. Drink more champagne. (Celebrating all good things, big and small!)
  2. Read more books. (Quiet time is so lovely!)
  3. Wear more blouses. (Because I feel pretty in them and that makes me happy.)

These resolutions are easy to accomplish and are not earth-shattering. I am not committing to losing “X” number of pounds or overhauling my entire life. No grand plan for world domination. No pressure; just a continuation of working on being gentle with myself during the trying times and enjoying the little things like a good book, a good blouse, and a good glass of bubbly.

Image via Google search

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