New Year’s resolutions produce very little success, so why do people keep making them?


Jezza Hutto, Managing Editor

New Year’s resolutions are so last year. But really, this annual tradition is in a steady decline, with only 40% of Americans making resolutions this year, according to recent research by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

Of the people who do make these self-improving promises, only 8% follow through and actually complete their goals. Why would people keep participating in something that has such a low success rate?

Maybe they do it because they actually want to change and they believe they will. Maybe they feel obligated to change something because everything else about a new year is the exact same as the last year, except for the date you write on the top of your paper.

Or maybe they do it so they can post a gym selfie on their Instagram story with the caption, “New Year, New Me [flex emoji].”

Research shows that gym memberships spike at the beginning of a new year, but then plummet in the weeks following , so it’s likely that you won’t be seeing gym selfies from those people for long.

Whether it’s for pure self betterment, or just for social media gain, people rarely follow through. This is probably because they’re pressured by the societal custom of “New Year’s resolutions.” A new year gives people a reason to make a change that they’re not really ready for.

People see it as a perfect time to start on the path of self improvement. Other than its symbolic significance, New Years day is just another day, and it doesn’t have to entail a life changing goal.

If someone really wants to make a change in their life, there is no reason that it should be on a specific date. People will change when they feel ready to take the steps to meet that goal, no matter what time of the year it is.

If you are making a New Year’s resolution because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do, forget it, and focus on making necessary changes when your life comes to the conclusion naturally.