After the ball drops and all the sparklers go out, the excitement of New Year’s Eve dwindles, and many are exhausted by the prospect of a new year and what kind of changes it will bring.
Often, this holiday presents a time of reflection on the past year and aspirations for the year ahead, but research suggests this is not the best way to set one’s self up for success in the coming year.
According to Statistic Brain Research Institute, 41 percent of people explicitly make resolutions for the new year, and only 44.8 percent of those who made resolutions will keep them through the first six months of the year.
Only 9.2 percent of people felt they had successfully achieved their resolutions by the end of the year. On average, 32.4 percent of those resolutions will be related to fitness or weight loss, 22.8 percent to relationships, 42.1 percent to money and 44.3 percent to self improvement.
Although these may be predictable goals for the new year, many people constantly seek improvements to their lives that are unrelated to the New Year’s prompt. So the question here is, “What makes Jan. 1 so special?”
For some, New Year’s serves as a “reset” button, a way to re-calibrate one’s life. For others, New Year’s is just the holiday that bookends the Christmas season. Because 37.8 percent of people who feel that they have achieved their resolutions are in their twenties, the Seattle Pacific community provides plenty of opportunities to investigate.
“Setting it as a hard goal is easier for me, it just breaks it up and makes it easier to accomplish,” senior Courtney Perine said.
“I think for me the point of making [resolutions] at New Year’s means that it is an easier time to hit ‘restart’ versus the middle of the year.”
“Sometimes it’s just hard to take a step back. So in the calm of the storm it is much easier to follow through than once life gets crazy.”
For those with Perine’s logic, creating goals that are solidified by the prompt of New Year’s makes them seem more achievable.
In addition to this, setting those goals at the beginning of the year can increase the likelihood of them being completed rather than starting without any time to adjust. Classes may not be as difficult, or the winter break may provide the right amount of time for this transition.
First year Olivia Winter thinks that New Year’s resolutions are too artificial for her, as she believes getting a task done often requires more than a simple statement.
“If I’m making a decision to do something, then it’s not because that’s what people do [as a holiday tradition].”
Although a fresh year may spur some to make radical life changes, there are 364 other days in a year to start over as well. New Year’s can be a great springboard for some, but for others, the New Year does not spark a genuine desire for change in their life.
“I wouldn’t say change has to happen on New Year’s. I just think for many people it can be a great place to start,” first year Dania Holmberg said.
Holmberg added,“I think it’s interesting to look at where I was last year and look at the growth that has happened since then. I’m excited to see how my resolutions can prompt a positive change in my life in this upcoming year.”