Stop believeing in New Year’s resolutions


Morgan Doyle, Reporter

It’s always around this time of year that you start to hear the question, “what is your New Year’s resolution?” If you’ve had success with them, good for you. However, the majority of us fail within a month and are back to square one. I’m here to tell you all the reasons why you should NOT make a new year resolution for 2022. 

Make sure that the thing you’re wanting to change is important to you. That being said, your goal should be important enough to where you want to start any time of the year. If you come up with a goal you want to achieve in October, START IN OCTOBER! Why wait the extra two months for January 1? By that time you might have come up with numerous excuses of why that goal isn’t right for you. Whereas, if you start right after you think of the goal, your mind won’t have time to come up with excuses because you’re already on the path to success. 

Setting goals is a way to track your progress by creating targets for yourself. The 3 keys to setting an awesome goal is making sure that you’re passionate about it, giving it a deadline, and ensuring that it is attainable. I’m all for achieving awesome things, but there’s a difference between pushing yourself and shooting for the stars. You should set short and long term goals. Long term goals will be your ultimate target and short term goals will be the checkpoints along the way. 

Another reason why new year’s resolutions fail is that motivation fades. If motivation is the only driving force in your goal to lose 10 pounds. You will likely start off really strong but as a few weeks go by the cookies become more and more tempting. As a reward for your hard work you allow yourself one cookie. The next day that one cookie turns into two cookies. The next day it turns into three cookies. Then one day you “don’t feel like it” so you don’t go to the gym, and soon enough you gain back the progress you made. You gave up on your goal because motivation got the best of you.

Think about the same situation with someone who has a lot of self-discipline. They start off strong because the motivation levels are still really high. Week three comes around and the gym is seeming less and less fun, they are getting frustrated because they aren’t seeing the results they want and the scale has barely fluctuated. They know that results are coming and that it will be worth it once they start seeing results. So they continue to go to the gym even when their motivation is in the dumps. Then they start to see less and less people at the gym and realize that other people are giving in on their goals which fires their motivation. They start seeing results  which inspires them to keep going and they will do anything to lose the weight. 

Self discipline will always be more powerful than motivation. Although motivation is a great tool to get started, it won’t always be there. When I broke my right and left sesamoids (a small bone in the ball of your foot). I couldn’t do any of my regular training with my team but I still kept a 6 day training schedule fit for my abilities. I couldn’t do any impact but I kept my stamina and strength up by biking, lifting, and rowing. Was I motivated? Some days yes, but not all the time. The truth is I don’t have any more motivation than any of you, I just have a lot of self-discipline. 

If your goal is to eat healthier, don’t purposefully put a “cheat day”, or “cheat meal” into your plan. The word “cheat” has a negative effect on your brain and attaches a poor image to the actions involved in your “cheat day/meal.” Personally when I hear the word cheat, I think of a student cheating on a test which is something you’re not supposed to do. So when I hear the phrase “cheat day” or “cheat meal” in reference to fitness and nutrition, I think of binge eating sweets and unhealthy foods. Eating sweets and unhealthy foods to satisfy cravings is perfectly fine because, BALANCE IS KEY, but everything in moderation. Don’t starve yourself from the things you love, but don’t place that negative image on them either. I am a deep lover of chocolate, but I don’t avoid it all week long then eat an entire tub of chocolate ice cream on Sunday. Part of what makes your body feel good is routine, so stay consistent with your movement and eating habits. Have small amounts of your favorite foods throughout the week to soothe cravings. 

What emotions do you attach to failure? I think of anger, frustration, and disappointment. We may have thought of different words but I guarantee you the emotions identified were NOT positive ones. When we fail at something we have set out to achieve; big or small, we have some type of negative reaction to it because of the emotions we attach to failure. When people set New Year’s Resolutions, it’s common to have a fairly big goal. Think about the emotions you identified and that negative emotional toll you will feel if/when you fail your New Year’s Resolution. This alone should be enough to make you stop practicing them.

Take time to write out a descriptive plan for a goal that you feel passionate about, make a deadline so you can track your progress, and ensure that it is attainable. Don’t include cheat days and find out what your “why” is. If you don’t know what I mean by “your why,” ask yourself why you want to achieve that goal? Why do you want to lose 10 pounds, why do you want to run a 6 minute mile, why do you want to stop pressing snooze on your alarm clock, why do you want to keep your room clean? When you find your “why” you will find your deep desire which turns into your inspiration. Making lifestyle changes isn’t easy, but if you want it badly enough nothing can stop you!