It is an age-old tradition. Everyone thinks that they get the gist of it; some put effort into it, but only a handful of them actually achieve it. However, as ancient as it is, arguments about New Year’s resolutions never truly settle. If one can ask any planner-addicted individuals out there, they would list a ton of reasons to convince that having New Year’s resolutions is a must. On the other hand, one might also run into someone who can’t stand the concept, as if believing in a fresh start for new year is merely child play. But which is it, actually? I’ll let you determine your answer at the end of this blog.
Why do people make New Year’s resolutions?
A rather short but firm answer would be: to become a better person in any possible life aspects. Making New Year’s resolutions starts when one notes down a list of hopes and excitement, daydreaming about a brand new, ‘upgraded’ version of oneself that makes them giggly smiling endlessly. It is self-reassurance after a long hard working year, full of stress and burn-out, something I would say is like a pat on the shoulder of comfort. It enables us to feel as if we hold the unlimited power to bring a new chapter of life that arrives with new, better opportunities and greater memories. It is more than some temporary sense of console that anyone gains from imagining a better-self. Practically, a pre-planned list of goals to fulfill is an excellent motivation, setting milestones to actually break down the vision into action. A New Year’s resolution is a milestone of improvement, a standard bar to reach and a track of personal progress.
Why don’t people make New Year’s resolutions?
Of course, who wouldn’t like the idea of self-improvement? However, New Year’s resolutions remain rather doubtful or even irrelevant to some, and I must admit, it also has its downsides. Apart from the individuals who simply don’t ‘click’ with the concept, others often give up on the intention to make a list of new year changes after several failed attempts. Indeed, maybe some initial procrastination will bring along stress and guilt while you stared at your resolutions, criticizing yourself harshly for your incompetence to mark anything as ‘done’. Hence, maybe that vicious cycle of self-criticism and New Year’s resolutions renewal repeats until you are completely demotivated. Moreover, sometimes a New Year’s resolution can be insanely stressful, almost as a clock counting down, especially for those who don’t work well under pressure.
Intimidating? Yes. But if you ask whether you should refrain from making a New Year’s resolution, I would say no (unless you prefer not to stick with a pre-planned list at all). Instead, I would say go for it, but do it wisely and devotedly. You can choose a moment winding down from all your deadlines to pick up a pen and a note, or even your phone, maybe place a cup of hot chocolate right by your side for some coziness on a cold winter day and let the expectations of your new year guide you through. Although there is no one-size-fits-all mandate to guarantee success, keep in mind that your dedication is the key: start small, be realistic, and stay motivated.
Author: Rachel Nguyen
Editor: Gwendolyne Cheung
Illustrator: Ira Lizenko