Rethink Your Resolution


As 2022 comes to a close and the holiday break is right around the corner, the rapidly approaching year is on everyone’s minds. Specifically, New Year’s resolutions.

Ninety-one percent of the population fail to complete their New Year’s resolutions. That’s 7.3 billion people. Why is that number as high as it is? 

More statistics from Discover Healthy Habits show that after one month, 64% of people have kept their resolution. Why are these numbers so low? Business Insider interviewed a psychotherapist to get some answers. 

¨One of the biggest reasons people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions is because they’re not specific enough,¨ said Jonathan Alpert, a psychotherapist. “It’s easier to drop out or walk away when you set goals or resolutions that are vague.”

A second reason is that people frame their resolution in negative language. ¨When people resolve to stop wasting money or stop eating junk food, for example, it often backfires because it makes them think about the very thing they’re trying to avoid.¨

¨Another major obstacle people face is the tendency to make New Year’s resolutions that don’t reflect what they actually want,¨ said Alpert. The fitness and dieting companies and trends take advantage of this reason. The average signup for gym memberships increased by 12% during the new year according to Virtuagym. “Goals need to be made for the individual,” said Alpert. “So often, people seem to be influenced by their friends, their family, what they see in society.”

Freshman Julia Franklin shared her thoughts about New Year’s resolutions. Franklin said that ¨they hurt¨ more than they help. Franklin continued saying that ¨if you really want something in your life to change you wouldn’t have to wait for New Years to change it and if you fail your New Year’s resolution you could beat yourself up for it.¨

Franklin’s 2020 resolution was to document one “good thing” that happened every day. “We were online for school, and it affected my mental health,” said Franklin. ¨The problem was when I couldn’t find a positive thing for the day, I would beat myself up which would make the day worse.¨

Franklin continued by saying that people think that the resolutions will ¨stick right away” and if they don’t, people beat themselves up for it. “You can make your New Year’s resolution work if you go into the new year aware that not every day is perfect and you might not live up to the expectations you set for yourself and that’s okay,” said Franklin. 

It’s not all bleak though. Statistics from YouGovAmerica show that people who have made New Year’s resolutions are more positive about the year. Fifty-seven percent of people who have made resolutions are confident that the upcoming year will be better than the last. 

This data tells us that while poorly made New Year’s resolutions can do more harm to the start of your year than good, a resolution that is specific, thoughtful, and personal to your wants will kickstart your year on a good note.