New Year’s resolutions: yay or nay?

For more than 4,000 years, New Year’s resolutions have existed, but why do so many people put themselves under pressure to change their lives for the better? EN4News gives an insight into what it’s like beginning new year without an ambition for 2019.


New Year in Edinburgh. Photo credit to Robbie Shade

Five… Four… Three…



Happy New Year!

And just like that, 2019 begins.

All around, people are celebrating — a “cheers” here, a kiss there. There’s a chorus of “all the best for 2019” that rings through the gathered crowd, and it’s all with the best intentions.

This is because a new year means a blank slate, a chance to become a new version of yourself. In the first few days of the year, when the mantra of “new year, new me” still echoes around your head, it is easy to follow whatever goal has been set. Your entire being is focused on completing your New Year’s resolution.

Yet, as reported by YouGov last year, most Brits’ resolutions begin to crumble on January 10. The pressures of everyday life return, with work starting back up and bills from Christmas appearing on your doormat, and your goal of drinking more water or getting your five a day begin to slip through your fingers.

If January 10 passed by, and your resolution was still going strong, then another hurdle forms on January 17 — the date chosen for the American creation of Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day. Most resolutions of the exercise and weight loss variety are the first to go in this instance.

However, this is only the case if you have a resolution for 2019. If not, then you are like me.

You buck the trend, and why shouldn’t you? New Year’s resolutions put so much pressure on people to make big changes to their lives, and that is a large part of why so many fail. They’re too ambitious, too negative on themselves, too restrictive on what they can’t do or have. It makes for a difficult time and then before they know it, January isn’t even over and they’ve given up.

As someone who can be too hard on themselves, I find New Year to be quite daunting. Of course, I do see every new year as a time to accomplish something different.

Last year, I told myself I would be more confident by the end of 2018. This gave me a full year to make small, attainable changes to my life that would improve my confidence. Getting out more, speaking to new people, saying “yes” to situations that make me anxious — these were all things I did over the 365 days that created 2018.

And that is what makes completing your resolution easier. By making small changes, and reminding yourself that setbacks are acceptable, and to be expected, it will be more likely that you end 2019 with a successful resolution under your belt.

This year, just like 2018, I have chosen to follow the same rule of “this time next year I will have…” but as for what I will have accomplished, that’s for me to know and you to find out.


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