Pro's and Con's to New Year's Resolutions

Marly Ausman on Jan 10, 2024 8:00:00 AM


Some people enjoy having a couple of goals to start the year. Others don't see a point in following the common tradition of setting New Year's Resolutions. I'm in the latter category. Even though I do think it's a good idea to set goals and to have ambitions, a lot of people tend to set unrealistic standards right off the bat. This could be counteractive to the whole point of resolutions and discourage people from completing them at all. That isn't to say that resolutions aren't a good idea for anyone it just means there are pros and cons to them.

Pros of New Year's Resolutions:

  1. Fresh Start Mentality:

    • Pro: The beginning of the year offers a symbolic fresh start, motivating individuals to make positive changes in their lives.
  2. Goal Setting:

    • Pro: Setting resolutions provides a structured approach to goal-setting, helping individuals define their aspirations and work towards achieving them.
  3. Increased Motivation:

    • Pro: The New Year's resolutions trend often generates a collective sense of motivation, as many people are inspired to improve their lives simultaneously.
  4. Opportunity for Growth:

    • Pro: Resolutions encourage personal and professional growth, pushing individuals out of their comfort zones to embrace new challenges.
  5. Sense of Purpose:

    • Pro: Having resolutions can instill a sense of purpose, guiding individuals to focus on what matters most to them and aligning their actions accordingly.
  6. Positive Reinforcement:

    • Pro: Achieving resolutions, even small milestones, provides a sense of accomplishment and boosts self-esteem, reinforcing positive behavior.

Cons of New Year's Resolutions:

  1. Unrealistic Expectations:

    • Con: Setting overly ambitious resolutions can lead to unrealistic expectations, setting individuals up for disappointment if goals are not achieved quickly.
  2. Short-Lived Enthusiasm:

    • Con: The initial burst of motivation in January may fade, leading to a decline in enthusiasm and commitment as the year progresses.
  3. Lack of Specificity:

    • Con: Vague resolutions without specific plans may lack clarity, making it challenging to measure progress and stay on track.
  4. All-or-Nothing Mentality:

    • Con: Some individuals adopt an all-or-nothing mentality, viewing setbacks as complete failures rather than opportunities to learn and adjust their approach.
  5. Pressure and Stress:

    • Con: The pressure to adhere to resolutions may create stress, especially if individuals feel overwhelmed or unable to meet their goals within a predetermined timeframe.
  6. Comparison and Competition:

    • Con: Constant comparisons to others who may appear to be more successful in their resolutions can lead to feelings of inadequacy and demotivation.
  7. Neglect of Other Aspects:

    • Con: Focusing solely on resolutions may lead to neglecting other important aspects of life, such as relationships, self-care, and overall well-being.

While New Year's Resolutions can be a beneficial way for people to set a positive outlook on the new year, it can also set some people up for failure. Being able to set realistic goals according to your level of self-control and motivation is very important. This aspect should not be overlooked to keep yourself from feelings of disappointment or shame due to not completing your goal. You should be able to set goals whenever you're ready and able to, and cut yourself some slack if you don't complete your resolution since we're only human. 


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