Pro/Con: Are New Years’ Resolutions Worth It?

Zachary Denney (Pro) and Anmol Mahal (Con)

Pro

With a new year, comes a new beginning— a clean slate— you can choose to set your year off on the right footing or choose not to.  You can make resolutions, goals, to get things done and to help keep you on a positive pathway as you delve further into the  year.  Goals are a wonderful thing to have.  Ideally, it would be nice for us to set big goals for ourselves throughout the year, instead of just at the beginning, but the fact that we make it a priority to make these goals yearly is still worth some applause.

A study by Forbes in January 2013 found that 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions.  To give you an idea of how many people that is, it is estimated that the Super Bowl is watched by a little over 33 percent of Americans.  Of those 45 percent of resolution makers, Betterment.com found that 47 percent of resolution making Americans make self-improvement or educational resolutions, 38 percent make weight related resolutions, 34 percent make resolutions related to money and 31 percent make resolutions related to relationships.

Yes it’s true that these same studies have found that only eight percent are successful in achieving them — 25 percent give up within the first week— so one could argue that the statistics make resolution making look bleak, but why not challenge those statistics?  We don’t always do what we want or get everything finished, but comparing how well we achieved or did something to actually attempting to do it, which let’s be frank not a lot of people would do, is so wrong.

I consider it amazing that people make resolutions, because look at how many who don’t even bother.  By making a resolution you did something others were too lazy to do, so who cares what the end becomes?  You may not lose weight.  You may not improve anything in your life.  Who cares?  Just remember that you don’t have to give up.  You can always pick yourself back up and restart.  You have to work for change.

Never regret doing something to better yourself.  Tie your resolutions and goals to your life and do not fear failure because as Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

 

Con

“It’s a new year, new me, new hair, and new clothes.”

It’s a promise that many people make to themselves saying, “this is the year for change” but these promises are short lived.  Many people make New Year’s resolutions as a way to make it appear as if they are going to bring about change in their lives, when in reality only a few do.  Every year people make resolutions such as “get fit,” “save more money,” or “get organized” but talk is cheap; they don’t actually work towards making these resolutions a reality.

Saying “My New Year’s resolution is going to be…” is just like saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow” because tomorrow will never come.

No one is doing themselves a favor by making a resolution— however they are doing businesses a favor by buying athletic clothes and gym membership that they only use 30 out of 365 days.  Paying for a gym membership doesn’t shrink their waistline but their wallet size.

A major reason people never fulfil the New Year’s resolution is a lack of self discipline. People that do have self discipline do what they need to do when it needs to be done rather than lounging around waiting for a certain time to make a goal and start working for it.  But there are also some people out there that try their best to keep up with their resolutions in the month of January because of all the “fresh” motivation they have.

Commitment is a quality that many people lack because they feel it is okay to to give up on a goal because they worked on it for a month and saw no change.  According to Statisticbrain.com, about 75 percent of Americans maintain their resolutions for the first week after New Years but by the end of the month it goes down to 64 percent and six months later only 46 percent of Americans still try to keep their resolution.

StatisticBrain.com also shows that about 24 percent of Americans fail on completing their resolutions but considering that only 45 percent of Americans actually make New Year’s Resolutions it shows many people don’t stick to what they say they will do.

People don’t think carefully about what type of goal they are setting and choose the wildest one out of their imagination. Therefore it would be illogical to set a goal for the future after counting down backwards from 10 and one too many glasses of champagne.