Stop making New Year’s resolutions

While a new year should be a time of celebration and reflection, New Year's resolutions don't have to be part of that reflection. (Jdmoar/Flickr Creative Commons)

On the morning of Jan. 1st, my best friend and I started the drive home from Mansfield Apartments after a night of celebrating the New Year. She turned to me from the driver’s seat and asked me what my New Year’s resolution was.

Honestly, I hadn’t given it any thought. I had not even considered what I wanted my goals for the New Year to be.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not giving up on being a better person, or a happier person, or any other self-improvement goals. I just don’t see the point of setting the start date at Jan. 1st.

To me, New Year’s resolutions seem like an excuse. It’s easier to say you’ll start going to the gym/cutting back on your drinking/being a better person tomorrow instead of today. If you do it tomorrow, you don’t have to plan it out today. You feel good that you’re thinking about being healthier, but the essential eating-well-and-exercise thing can start in January, right? Wrong.

The point of setting a goal is to reach it. Putting it off until the beginning of next year is not reaching your goal.

According to a Nielsen survey, the top five New Year’s resolution for 2015 were to (1) stay fit and healthy, (2) lose weight, (3) enjoy life to the fullest, (4) spend less, save more, and (5) spend more time with friends and family.

There is no reason to put off any of these for Jan. 1st. If you notice you’ve gained weight, get your butt in the gym today. If you spend too much money, start saving today. If you want to see your friends and family more, call them up today.

Forbes reports that just eight percent of people follow through on their resolutions. I honestly believe the reason so many people break their resolution is because they’re resolutions. (And if you’re one of those people that followed through on your resolution, feel free to send me your angry email.)

If you really really wanted to lose weight, you would have gone to the gym and started eating healthier when you noticed you weren’t happy with your weight. If you really really wanted to quit smoking, you would have done it when you realized it was affecting your health or costing you too much money or both.

I feel like I’ve come off as pessimistic, so let me clarify. I can appreciate the sentiment behind New Year’s resolutions. I think it’s great that we all want to be healthier, happier, better people. But reaching our goals should carry further than the second week in February.

So I’m not trying to dump on your New Year’s resolution. I support you wanting to kick your bad habits and take up some good ones, but take them up sooner. Don’t wait until the New Year because that’s what everyone else does. Start working towards your goals as soon as they become your goals.

Plus, nobody likes a crowded gym.


Schae Beaudoin is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at schae.beaudoin@uconn.edu