New Year’s resolutions: the pros and cons of creating

By Sean Kranske, Contributing Writer

The year is nearly over! While some of us are thinking positively about the year and wishing it a warm-hearted farewell, others are just crawling through to 2017, still battered from the trials 2016 brought with it.

Either way, now is the time that many of us begin to embrace the ‘new year, new you’ cliché, and try to set goals to better ourselves and improve our lives. While some may find New Year’s resolutions inspiring and helpful, there are some that might be shooting themselves in the foot when they create resolutions. Here are some pros and cons to take into consideration when creating your New Year’s resolutions.

There are many positive things to say about resolutions. They can give you a clear goal and a deadline, which can encourage us to stick to it. In this sense, trying to stick to a New Year’s resolution is like doing a homework assignment. It might not always be fun, but you know only good things will come if you put forth the effort and actually do it.

This is often the reason why resolutions are created, and the always approaching Dec. 31 deadline can give many people that extra push they need to follow through with their resolutions. When you consider making a resolution, just ask yourself if a deadline is a good motivator for you personally.

 Another positive thing about New Year’s resolutions is that creating them is a good time for self-reflection. The end of the year is perfect for thinking about how you can improve yourself or how you could work to improve the world around you. Creating a New Year’s resolution makes you take a more conscious role in your future behavior, assuming of course that you stick with your resolution.

 However, if you are not the type of person who works well with deadlines, a New Year’s resolution may not be for you. When there is an entire year ahead of you to reach your goal, it can be easy to procrastinate and eventually forget about your resolution until it’s too late. For people who might fall into this category, a New Year’s resolution might not be as effective as simply taking on challenges as they arise.  

Resolutions go uncompleted frequently, which can be a little disappointing if one really wanted to reach that goal. If we set a realistic goal before the year starts, and the upcoming year doesn’t go as expected, it’s possible that we may not be able to achieve our goal due to unexpected circumstances. When a goal is set that spans an entire year, there are a lot of variables that could interfere – it’s life!

 Some may decide that New Year’s resolutions aren’t for them, or that a deadline would only foster procrastination. For many, including myself, there’s no reason not to create a New Year’s resolution.

Even if the worst happens and you don’t reach your goal, there’s no real damage done. The best that can happen is that you change something for the better. If you feel like a resolution could help, there’s no reason not to create one.

Good luck to all who create a resolution for 2017!

Photo credit: Jalyn Bolyard