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Opinion | New Year's Resolutions need to be rethought

The practice of New Year's resolutions 'could definitely use some restructuring'. India Noon explains her thoughts on the age old tradition.

By India Noon, Opinion Co-Deputy Editor

I’m sure I’m not alone in admitting that my New Year's resolutions rarely see themselves through to the end of a year. I’m also sure that I’m not the only one who desperately promises themselves on the 1st of January that they will drink less and go to the gym more. Spoiler alert: I won’t! 

Therefore, the dismal crash and burn of weak promises, such as eating less takeaways, that inevitably happens around March feels rubbish. So why do we keep making wild resolutions every year in the hope that we will one day change? As young students with wild and constantly changing lives, is it even fair to make these resolutions in the first place? 

I think we need to change how we see this age-old tradition. As students, and first and foremost as humans, we need to recognise our lives are chaotic and are constantly changing. Making big sweeping promises to ourselves at the beginning of a year is only setting us up for failure. Resolutions need to take into account the length and intricacies of a year in itself- it is after all twelve whole months! A tactic I have tried to follow through with is a resolution per month. Why should we have to make all these promises at the very beginning of the year anyway? Spread them out! By doing this I can take into account how my life has changed each month and therefore create a new resolution I can work on. This not only allows you to adapt to the changes that inevitably come with life, but encourages reflection throughout the year.

white printer paper on brown wooden table
Image Courtesy: Tim Mossholder // Unsplash

I think the beginning of a new year can also prove to be rough for a lot of people. The New Year's resolution tradition brings a lot of pressure to change, to be a better you. Of course, everybody has heard the classic ‘New Year, New Me’ quote! However, the start of a year shouldn’t just be about change. What are you keeping the same? You can’t change everything- and why should you? Getting to the end of a year is just as exciting and impressive as starting a new one. Everyone has done something in the past year that they should identify and take fresh into 2024; something they can be proud of, something they are certainly not changing! 

Students especially should always remember the triumphs within this last year. Perhaps it is successfully living away from home or an academic success of some sort. These key parts of our past year should not just be thrown to the wind in the name of reinvention. New Year's resolutions should both celebrate our past as well as set goals for our future.

Although the practice of New Year's resolutions have not met their heyday yet, it definitely could use some restructuring. As a practice, it can too easily become overwhelming and, as many people probably know, can result in disappointing failure. Let us adapt the New Years tradition for future generations and all start our years not with empty promises but with meaningful decisions. 

Happy New Year!

Feature Image: Annabel Lee-Ellis

How do you feel about the tradition of New Year's Resolutions? Do they need changing? Tell us @epigrampaper