Resolutions deemed ineffective, waste of time

Common Sense Editorial

This year I want to improve my sleep schedule and manage my time better. But let’s be honest, once the hype of the New Year’s passes, I’ll have forgotten about these resolutions and will continue the same habits I had in 2018.

The end of one year and the beginning of another symbolizes a fresh start and the perfect time to make some changes to your life. But in reality, most of your New Year’s resolutions last less than a week and the “new” you ends up being pretty much the same as the old you.

Although it is a common practice to start a new year with a few things you want to change about yourself, the odds one will reach their goal or continue with their resolution are low. According to, “statistically speaking, only 9.2 percent of us will actually achieve our wishes.”

Resolutions often consist of vague goals like vowing to exercise more, to watch less television or to get more sleep. These may seem easily achievable but in reality setting goals like these leaves a lot of room for failure, and according to Psychology Today, “crafting vague objectives can cause you more psychological distress.”

While setting too vague of goals can be detrimental to one’s success, setting goals way out of reach is also harmful. Although it is common, making a New Year’s resolution that is nearly impossible sets oneself up for failure. According to The New York Times, “we are simply unrealistic in our aims.”

The main contributor to why one may lose interest in their resolution or fail to make the change they vowed to make is, according to, “a lack of sustainable motivation.”

Without reasons that resonate with one’s values and prompt them to achieve their goal or stick with their resolution, it’s likely that they will end up back where they started.

Another factor that impacts how effective people are at sticking with their New Year’s resolutions is the fact that change is difficult to implement. “Every year I make resolutions, but it’s a lot of work to change my old habits,” freshman Reza Abediya said.

People have trouble breaking bad habits because the habits become routine and require little attention. According to, “a full 40 percent of the time our mind is on something else while we complete actions automatically.”

Junior Madison Linn the made resolution to go to bed earlier during the school week this year, but she’s used to staying up late every night and barely even pays attention to what time it is at night. “I want to have better sleep habits this year, but I keep going to bed late since it’s just a habit now,” Linn said.

Whether it’s because of a lack of effort, a lack of motivation, setting unrealistic goals, the inability to break bad habits or any other number of reasons, New Year’s resolutions usually fail. “By February I won’t even try to go to bed earlier anymore,” Linn said.

In order to make New Year’s resolutions as effective as possible, you should set probable goals, and make sure to stay motivated so you don’t give up on them.

5 of 9 editorial board members agree