New Year’s Resolutions and Skepticism

New Year's Resolutions

Midnight strikes and 2015 draws to a close with either a gulp from a champagne bottle or a kiss with the person next to you. It is officially January, and you’re faced with that promise you made yourself or taunted with that list of changes you scrawled down. New Year, new me. Maybe it was when you ate all of Santa’s cookies and comforted yourself with the idea of using your Christmas money on a gym membership. Maybe you watched too many Hallmark movies while sipping wine and decided to stop bailing on blind dates. Maybe it’s a broad goal, like being the best version of yourself or having more sex. Whatever it may be, fifty shades or eat, pray, love; January brings more than just slushy snow. The first of the year is an opportunity for a fresh start.

Most people are skeptical that a calendar flipping to a New Year is all people need to stop eating carbs or going back to that wrong for you ex. I notice there’s a common reaction when someone mentions the changes they want to make. Proclaiming that you want to start spin classes or that you want to land a summer internship makes some people spout their doubts. New Year’s resolutions are hardly fulfilled, and, typically, whatever we set out to do ends up being an empty promise. These are always the arguments we stack against ourselves. However, I find that depressing and, frankly, just an excuse to not jump-start the year with any kind of goal.

Why is it so wrong to be hopeful for changes in the New Year? Sure, it’s annoying when my daily routine is interrupted because I can’t find an empty treadmill since suddenly everyone decides to be the Biggest Loser. Yes, your best friend will probably end up with another half written novel on her laptop mid-February, despite her promise to finally finish a book. And when your mom suggests to wake up an hour early and make breakfast, you roll your eyes because your Krave Cereal and extra thirty minutes of sleep is a routine you doubt you’ll break. But, despite a shift in comfortable routines or unlikely goals, change is healthy, and being hopeful for something is nice.

It’s true that more than half of the unfamiliar people at my gym will slowly filter out. However, maybe a few of those new members will fit in a pair of old jeans or find a love for running they forgot they had. Your best friend will probably remember how school always gets in the way before she can finish chapter five, but maybe she’ll also develop a character that she uses in another story. And more than likely you’ll hit snooze and shovel stale cereal into your mouth, but you may just find yourself stirring pancake batter some random Friday morning because, hey, chocolate chip pancakes do taste a little better than Krave.

It’s okay to make promises we don’t follow up on every week or to have to face some new changes. Resolutions give us some sort of motive to step outside of our normal day-to-day, at least for a week or two. Big or small, whether it’s calling your mom a little more or maybe it’s to drop the sorority you no longer want to be in; I think resolutions are important. Maybe you’ll learn something, maybe you’ll end up a few pounds lighter, or maybe you’ll realize yoga just isn’t for you. Regardless of whether or not you go through with them, at least you’re getting out of your comfort zone.


Photo Credit – Getty Images – Walter Zerla