For and Against: Do New Year’s Resolutions really work?

FOR
[Laura Noakes | Deputy Editor]

So it’s the start of a New Year. The Christmas decorations have been packed away, the last of the turkey has gone and you’re probably suffering from a post-festive hangover. Uni is starting back up and there are exams to prepare for and assignments to submit and yet January is the time of year that most people start anew, turn over a new leaf and make some New Years resolutions. Most people think New Years resolutions are fads – good intentions that last for a few weeks and then fade into nothingness by mid-January.

But I think New Years Resolutions can, and DO work. Think about it: Christmas is all about overindulging – eating and drinking WAY too much, spending copious amounts of money, receiving presents that you’re never going to use. After all that over-doing it, January is the perfect time to go cold-turkey (pun intended) on whatever your guilty pleasure is. It’s the quintessential fresh start; the line drawn between the old and new. So get healthier, drink less, learn to play an instrument, say yes more – whatever your New Years resolution is, no matter what Uni/life stress lays ahead, DO IT!

And even if the cold chill of January has got you down and the excitement of the New Year has worn off, think about that resolution – think about the wish you made on January 1st and why you wanted to achieve that – and re-commit yourself to that resolution. By December 31st 2015, it will definitely be worth it.

AGAINST
[Shelby Loasby | News Sub Editor]

Yes, New Year’s resolutions are the perfect way for you to attempt to have a fresh start and new beginnings. BUT, the novelty of the ‘new year, new me’ is just that – a novelty. People cannot simply change overnight or just completely stop eating chocolate (I know from experience). Changes to your lifestyle and personality take time and commitment, and nine times out of ten, the commitment of a new year’s resolution only lasts the first two weeks of January. And think about your resolutions from last year. Did you manage to cross any off? Or have they made another appearance this year?

A friend of mine, who also happens to be a cynic, said that New Year’s Eve is simply the “arbitrary passing of time” and “a concoction of industries to make more money out of a pointless celebration.” Whilst this puts a massive damper on New Years, he does have a point. And his point relays onto the new year’s resolutions. We set goals for ourselves all the time, and it has actually been proven that goals made at any other point in the year, are more likely to be met than at the beginning of the year. There are 364 other days for you to make life-decisions. So why narrow it down to this one day? Because at New Years we try to think of resolutions that we should be doing, rather than what we want to be doing.

I’m not saying don’t make new years resolutions – go ahead and join the bandwagon – but what I am trying to say, is that if you’re going to do it then think about it carefully, be realistic and commit to it. Otherwise, you are just wasting your time and energy and will end up disappointed when you don’t reach your goals. What you could do instead is forget the resolutions and just start the New Year thinking about what you want to change or start doing. Don’t set yourself targets, just make little alterations here and there, and before you know it, you will see changes.

What are your thoughts about New Year’s Resolutions? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @TridentMediaUK

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For and Against: Do New Year’s Resolutions really work?