Why I Won’t Be Making New Year’s Resolutions

28 December 2016

New Year’s Resolutions are rarely successful. Research published by Statistic Brain, a non-partisan independent research group, found that only eight percent of people achieve their resolutions. That number is significantly higher for people in their twenties versus people over fifty. The longer we maintain certain behaviors, the less likely we are to be able to change them with a simple resolution. Overall, 75 percent of people claim to maintain their resolution for at least one week and after that the success rate plummets with each passing week. I have a difficult time understanding the eight percent who don’t fall off the resolution wagon.

New Year’s Resolutions, or a variation on that theme, is a tradition that has been practiced across cultures for millennia. The Babylonians, whose culture thrived over 4,000 years ago, had a New Year’s celebration in March that honored the harvest and the crowning of a new king for continued blessings by the gods. The Romans also marked the New Year in March, although eventually it shifted to January 1. They also honored the changing calendar by inaugurating new leadership or paying homage to the emperor. The specific date for New Year’s Day has shifted and changed through time and place, but the basic premise of rejuvenation and preparing for the future has persisted.

I love that our trip around the sun is celebrated en masse. I applaud anyone who courageously takes on the daunting task of improving their life. I also am a big fan of second chances and personal development. If New Year’s Resolutions are what provide someone with hope and purpose, I would do nothing to deter that course of action.

But that doesn’t mean I will be participating.

This is an excerpt, continue reading on The Fix.

Kristance Harlow

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