The Time is Now

Every year I make New Year’s resolutions. Then, I either forget all about it, or I make a feeble attempt that peters out by the end of January. I’m sure most of the people reading this are familiar with this seasonal pattern. According to U.S. News, only 20 percent of those who make New Year’s resolutions succeed. This statistic leads many people to believe that New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time.

But don’t lose hope! There are still benefits to making them, even if you don’t succeed. By figuring out what we are doing wrong, we can fix our mistakes.

One of the biggest mistakes in making a resolution is setting an unrealistic goal. People whose resolutions fail may also be making their goals too broad. In either case, people will not accomplish their goals without putting effort towards them first. People assume that simply setting a goal is good enough and do not put any more effort into achieving their resolution.

There is an obvious fallacy to this way of thinking. If you plant a seed but do not water it or provide optimal sunlight, how can you expect it to grow? This applies to making resolutions too. Without setting specific goals to follow in order to achieve your resolution, it’s easy for people to push off what they want to accomplish, sometimes procrastinating until next New Year’s.

“Procrastination is one of the number one reasons resolutions fail,” Tim Pychl, psychologist at Carleton University in Ottawa, said in an article by Popular Science.

Yes, procrastination is an epidemic common across the nation. Don’t get me wrong, I procrastinate as much as the next person. Everyone procrastinates from time to time, but we all know that it’s better that we don’t. With either of these mistakes, failure is inevitable, leading to the incorrect conclusion that resolutions do not work.

Fear not, we can fix our mistakes together. If you want to accomplish your resolutions, you have to make sure you know everything about whatever it is you want to achieve, whether it is researching weight loss programs or setting and sticking to a budget

According to the Miami Herald, making specific resolutions increases your chances of achieving them. If you set a goal to go to the gym more often, consider making the goal more explicit, such as going to the gym twice a week for three months. This encourages you to make a calendar, set reminders and keep up with your progress which will lead to success.

A key component to success is your attitude. According to a study by the American Psychological Association (APA), being optimistic increases confidence and energy. Positive people are more successful because of their positive attitude. Having a positive attitude towards your resolutions can increase your success.

Another helpful component to resolution-making is getting your friends involved. According to John Norcross in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), it is beneficial to tell your friends about your resolution. “Once you get into January, the willpower begins to slip and that’s when we start counting on other people,” Norcross said. Friends will help you stay committed to your goals, and you might even inspire them to join you.

When making a resolution, there are some important things to remember that will help your resolution be a success.

Make sure you identify what you want to achieve. Make it detailed and do not leave any loopholes.

Research how what you want to do might affect you and how long it will take to achieve what you want. If you want to grow out your hair, research how long that will take. If you want less acne, find out the best medicine to use and how much it will cost.

The New Year’s season is the best time to achieve your goals. They aren’t pointless because they can be beneficial, even if you fail. This year, try to get your friends involved with your resolutions and have fun with it. Start up your fireplaces, make some hot chocolate and make your resolutions a reality!