Column: Problems with new year’s resolutions

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Bryanna Farmer

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It’s that time of year again. A new year calls for a new start, which entails new goals. Depending on your view of new year’s resolutions, they can be beneficial or a waste of time. Everyone has a mental list of things they would like to change. To many, the new year seems like the perfect time to start making those changes. I do not think new year’s resolutions are beneficial. “New year, new me” is a common phrase you see every year. The year will certainly change, but you most likely will not change.

Statistics show that only 8% of people stick to their new year’s resolutions. Those who don’t follow through with them usually abandon them within a week. Given the limitations, new year’s resolutions are exactly the wrong way to change our behavior. Many people set multiple large goals for themselves. It makes no sense to try to quit two or more habits at the same time. Instead, you should set small goals for yourself throughout the year. Bad habits are hard to break, and they are nearly impossible to break all at once.

The two most common failed new year’s resolutions of 2015 were to lose weight and quit smoking. New year’s resolutions are most commonly broken because people don’t think small. Instead of making resolutions to lose weight, people need to make a resolution to cut something out of their life that will help them lose weight. Look at the habits that are holding you back from losing weight. It is much easier to follow through with a goal that is to stop eating potato chips versus setting a goal to lose some weight.

According to Time Magazine, the top ten commonly failed resolutions are losing weight and getting fit, quit smoking, learn something new, eat healthier and diet, get out of debt and save money, spend more time with family, travel to new places, be less stressed, volunteer, and drink less. The common problem with each of these goals is that they are too broad. People need to break down their goals with simpler steps to accomplish them.

New year’s resolutions can promote change, but they can also bring difficulties. However, new year’s resolutions can be beneficial if they are thought out and broken down. When making a resolution, think about the specific changes you should make to work toward your final goal, creating better end results.

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