New Year’s resolutions: Yea or nay?

Kim Brooks
Babbling Brooks Column
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     I tend not to set New Year’s resolutions for myself. For one, I’m not one to follow through on such measures. The only attainable goals I set are in terms of how many books I want to read in a year. And I even failed at that in 2020, a year when we had all the time in the world to read.

     I recently came across an article by two writers, each taking a stance as to whether setting annual New Year’s resolutions is beneficial or not. For some, perhaps they are needed.

     Christina Wyman from Michigan State University takes the stance that “New Year’s resolutions are about hope. After 2020, we need them more than ever.”

     Interestingly enough, Wyman states that it can just be the act of setting resolutions that brings about that hope, not necessarily fulfilling such goals.

     “More than 75 percent of all people who create New Year’s resolutions break them soon thereafter…” she said.

     Wyman said some goals aren’t so much about willpower as they are about finances, such as the resolution to travel more. Or one’s health, as in the resolution to go on a diet and lose so many pounds.

     In my case, the goal to read x-amount of books depends on my free time, or more accurately, what I choose to do in that free time. (I like to watch TV and movies, too.)

     “What good is a life lived without dreams?” asks Wyman about the fun in setting resolutions.

     But then I ask, “Why set resolutions when you know you’ll ultimately fail?”

     Natasha Noman from the University of Oxford takes the stance that 2020 needs to be “the year that finally kills New Year’s resolutions.” She describes resolutions as “a collective waste of time.”

     Noman said self-change can be hard for some. So instead of setting a goal to lose weight, set small, attainable goals such as vowing to eat one vegetable a day or walk/run 1-mile day.

     Noman says that Jan. 1 is the worst day to attempt to achieve resolutions.

     “Many people will have just spent the previous day partying, perhaps waking up sluggish or even ill,” she said. “And I literally can’t think of a less motivating time than the dead of winter after the holidays are all done.”

     She has a point…

     However, January is thought to be the most depressing month of the year. So maybe now is the best time to perk ourselves up and create some sort of hope that Wyman speaks of.

     Ultimately it’s up to each of us as individuals as to whether New Year’s resolutions are needed or not. Don’t let others talk you into setting such goals if you know darn well you’re not going to accomplish them. You know you better than anyone else.

     And if resolutions are your thing, put into motion goals that you know you can achieve.

     For instance, perhaps I’ll read a book or two a month this year… My book-loving friends have set higher goals for themselves, but life gets in the way. And I also want to use my free time to go to the gym, watch TV, hang out with close friends and family, and hope to see an end to this pandemic because it’s getting in the way of other time-suckers.


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