Science Behind New Year’s Resolutions

By Ali Sediqe and Carlo Carrubba

Now,  for the question that no one wants to answer… did you seriously already fail? In most cases, definitely. The science behind New Year’s Resolutions is more than you think.

New Year’s Resolutions… when did they start?

The first known occasion of New Year’s Resolution being made was with the Babylonians when the promised at the beginning of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay off their debt. The Romans made promises to the God Janus, for which January is named. New Year’s Resolutions didn’t really start in the U.S until the Great Depression when approximately 40% of all Americans made New Year’s Resolutions.

If New Year’s Resolutions are supposed to do good for us, why do we always fail?

New Year’s Resolutions are always one thing we can all say we failed on. It’s happened so much that it has become a joke. But why? They are supposed to do good for us, but why is failure so inevitable? Fewer than 10% manage to keep them for a few months. One reason for people not sticking to their resolutions is they are unrealistic and too vague. A lot of the stuff people say they want to fix or improve is easier said than done. People have unrealistic expectations about themselves, and this fits into a whole new category. Something known as false hope syndrome. It is characterized by a person’s unrealistic expectations about the likely ease, speed, amount, and consequence of changing their behavior (also unrealistic expectations about themselves). Another problem is the vagueness of resolutions. One example of this is the resolution to lose weight (common among adults). Some people say they want to lose weight, and that’s the end of it. No plan or way of losing weight, they just say they want to lose weight. Instead, you could say you are going to jog for 30 minutes 3 times a week. This shows what you are going to do, when you are going to do it, and how long you are going to do it. This is actually achievable and specific, compared to you just saying you want to lose weight. This is just one way you can fix your New Year’s Resolution, there are still many more. Remember to always hold yourself accountable if you don’t meet your resolution. These simple steps can help you not only build a better resolution but a better you. I guess we are just going to have to wait till next year for your improved New Year’s Resolution.

Categories: Culture

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