New Year Resolutions Require New Strategy


Amanda Young and Erika Riedel

2018 is in full swing, and as a result, so are many New Year’s resolutions. 

The new year presents a sense of optimism and the chance for new beginnings. According to The Washington Post, 40% of Americans concoct a list of resolutions, often regarding fitness and their personal well-being, eating healthier, sleeping earlier, and drinking more water.

While the regiment of drinking green smoothies and working out generally doesn’t last, the effort to implement healthy habits in one’s life should be encouraged.

For some, the end of the year is a stressful time. Creating resolutions helps people set goals to motivate themselves to take action and improve their well-being. These resolutions encourage people to leave behind the negative aspects of their life and replace them with more desirable characteristics.

Unfortunately, people’s inability to complete these tasks within the year is interpreted by some as complete failure. In reality, it may be an act of courage: making an effort to change one’s lifestyle and breaking habits and routines is extremely difficult. 

According to The Huffington Post, Dr. Roberta Anding, a dietician and nutrition professor at Baylor College of Medicine, believes that creating moderate, realistic resolutions could be the deciding factor between giving up on one’s goals in February and creating lasting changes in his or her life.

Many fail to reach their goals because radical alterations in one’s lifestyle set people up for failure and frustration.

As expected, 60% of gym memberships made in January go unused, according to Business Insider, contributing to the clique of people that don’t follow through with resolutions. Despite this, unused gym memberships symbolize the –although temporary– prevalent dedication of many to improve their health as the new year begins. This should be admired.

To improve the followthrough on New Year’s resolutions, one should couple a dreaded activity with one that the individual enjoys. According to the research conducted by Katherine Milkman, an assistant professor at the Wharton School at Penn, the method called Temptation Bundling helps people to maintain their resolutions as willpower dwindles. Overall, this technique allows for a more sustainable way to make good on resolutions.

So, the phrase, “New Year, New Me” doesn’t have to be doomed to failure. The problem isn’t creating the list of resolutions itself, but instead, the types of goals we choose to include.