The Epic

Why I hate New Year’s resolutions

Belinda Zhou

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Whether you’d like to admit it or not, you’ve probably  made a New Year’s resolution sometime in your life maybe even this past new year! Now, I’m not here to deliver some sort of uplifting and  eloquent disquisition to encourage you to adhere to your resolutions, or to give you a general, long and cheesy list of New Year’s resolutions ideas. Not to be pessimistic or anything, but I’m here to explain why I hate the entire concept of New Year’s resolutions.

I’m going to warn you now — the notion that making New Year’s resolutions is as simple as writing down goals on a piece of paper is a dangerous oversimplification of a much more complex process. There are four stages to making New Year’s resolutions: the pre New Year’s resolutions hype, the actual establishment of your resolutions, failure to adhere to your resolutions, and the consequential disappointment, despondency and frustration.

New Year’s resolutions shouldn’t even be called New Year’s resolutions. Rather, they should be relabeled as “pre New Year’s resolutions,”, because the hype actually begins before the actual commencement of the New year. At approximately one week to three weeks before the new year, you begin to develop the exhilarating, yet wrong, idea that the new year is going to bring some form of magical, holy renewal that will change you completely, hence the renowned and cliché mantra “new year, new me.”. Not only are you feeling foolishly feverish for the New and improved you that will actualize in just a few short days, you’re thrilled by the prospect of generating and writing down the words that will transform your persona.

When it’s time to actually generate your list of year-altering resolutions, however, things begin to go south. You make ridiculously unreasonable and unachievable resolutions that you know, but ignore, are just setting you up for failure. Let’s say, normally, you might set a goal of “cutting down a little bit on junk food and losing 5 pounds”. But, because “it’s the new year,”, there is automatically some kind of internal force that compels you to make the obviously unrealistic resolution of “no junk food, carbs, or added sugars for the entire year, work out at least 5 times a day (cardio, legs, abs, thighs and arms every single day) and lose 50 pounds by the end of this month.”. It’s almost as if because it’s Jan. 1, you can achieve the impossible, which leads me to my next point: achieving the impossible is impossible.

You make excuses year-round, but during the new year is when you take the concept of making excuses to an entirely other dimension. For the first couple of days into the new year, you’ll be able to stick to your resolutions perfectly, maybe you’ll even get in 10 workouts in the first couple of days! I guarantee you, after one week, you’ll inevitably see your friend (who has already broken their New Year’s resolutions) snacking on a pound of cheese, and you’ll feel the first traces of temptation, which you will give in to. This is when the excuses come flooding in: “Now that I’ve already not adhered to my resolution, I might as well just not stick to it anymore” or “I usually stick to my resolution of not eating junk food, but I’m sick today, so….”.

By now, you should have already realized that it’s time to completely accept defeat because you acknowledge and recognize that your resolutions aren’t realistic. You also should have realized that since now you’ve accepted defeat, there’s even less of a reason to adhere to your resolutions.  It’s the inevitable feeling of defeat, disappointment and despondency — for the fifth year in a row.

Now having said all this, I wouldn’t be surprised if you thought I was some kind of New Year’s grinch. Don’t get me wrong though I’m just as guilty as you are. In alarming and hypocritical actuality, I made a lengthy list of New Year’s resolutions this year, too. How many have I actually stuck to not even a month into the year? You got it: none. Oh well… there’s always next year!

About the Writer
Belinda Zhou, Opinion Editor

Belinda Zhou is currently a junior and the Opinion section editor for the Epic. She enjoys singing along to all the lyrics of "Fergalicious", hanging out...

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Why I hate New Year’s resolutions