Features | Why you shouldn't make New Year's resolutions

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It has come to that time of year where it is impossible to watch TV without seeing about 40 different adverts for diet plans and celebrity weight loss videos, and it isn’t just the post-Christmas pudge that can be blamed for this. People all across the planet are desperately clutching at unattainable targets to making themselves into better human beings, and you may be falling under the same spell. But no fear, I’m here and I’m going to tell you why you shouldn’t make New Year’s Resolutions this year.

1. The numbers are against you

In 2012, the University of Scranton found that only 8% of people ever achieve their resolutions each year, and a quarter of Americans always fail to meet their targets. With statistics like these, the concept of New Year’s Resolutions can definitely be thrown into scrutiny. Yet, despite the figures, year after year millions of people still insist on losing weight or being more organised.

2. It’s expensive

You may be promising to involve yourself in a new hobby, or insisting that you make use of your gym membership, but one thing you can be sure about is that New Year’s Resolutions are a money vacuum. Once you’ve covered sign up fees, membership costs, paid for materials and transport, you will have spent an eye watering amount of money. Especially if you are a student, this is exactly the kind of situation you want to avoid;  surely all that dosh would be better spent on nights out and fast food?

3. You’re probably setting yourself up for disappointment

New Year’s Resolutions have an incredibly high failure rates, yet we still insist on giving ourselves seemingly impossible tasks. People have a tendency to set themselves completely unrealistic targets for their resolutions, with a kind of unsustainable all-or-nothing attitude. Whether it is endless lists of minor self improvements, or one huge vague target like ‘EAT LESS’ or ‘WORK HARDER’, you’re going to end up not achieving your goals, and end up feeling like a failure. Save yourself the bother by not setting yourself such unattainable goals.

4. You’re probably fine as you are

Unfortunately, the vast majority of New Year’s Resolutions seems to be targeted at people who are insecure about their appearance, and companies are more than willing to capitalise on that. As I mentioned earlier, you can barely traverse through mainstream media without being bombarded by messages telling you to lose weight especially at this time of the year. However, I am by no means invalidating people’s wants to better themselves, physical or otherwise. Want to eat healthier? Go for it. Need to make more friends? Fire away. Your grades desperately need improvement? Hop to it. However, this does beg the question, why wait for an arbitrary day on the calendar to do this?

5. Why wait for New Year?

I argue that you can take the steps towards being a better person on any day of the year. It can be easy to compartmentalise, and subscribe to the ‘New Year, New Me’ school of thought, but don’t you think that’s limiting? If you want to improve yourself, why wait until it’s a convenient day to do it, and start improving yourself NOW. By waiting until the start of the New Year, you are already confirming to yourself that you are procrastinating, and it increases the likelihood of failure. Self-improvement is a constant, ongoing process, and it doesn’t have to wait until the 1st January to happen.

Brigitte Phillips

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