Although some people on Dec. 31 were gearing up for a night filled with stops at multiple dance clubs in downtown, hook ups with strangers and margaritas at hip Tex-Mex restaurants, I knew that all I was gearing up for was an intense baking session with brownies and a Gilmore Girls marathon with my brother.
It was awesome.
I’m not one for partying on New Year’s – the closest I’ve ever been was watching other people dance and make out on CNN right after the countdown. Don’t get me wrong; New Year’s is an awesome holiday, but I just don’t see the point in throwing huge ragers to usher in a new year that seems oddly similar to the one that preceded it. It’s not as if I’m going to magically become a greater, more improved person going from 11:59 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. – this isn’t The Sims 3.
After taking the last bite of a heavenly brownie, I decided to check out all of the fun happenings on Twitter so I could see just how interesting everyone’s night was. (Spoiler: It wasn’t that interesting.) Scroll after scroll and hashtag after hashtag, all I could see were countless tweets detailing just how “different” 2015 would be from 2014, along with the occasional comedic tweet about the short time span between before the countdown and after.
“New year new me,” “hello 2k15” and (my favorite!) “I haven’t showered since 2014, lmao.”
In all honesty, I can’t remember the last time I made a New Year’s resolution. I’m pretty sure it was something unoriginal like losing weight or quitting smoking (but I don’t smoke?), and if so, I’m pretty sure it was way back when I was a freshman – in high school. I’m not trying to judge anyone who’s made a resolution to change themselves for the better; I mean, I’d love to say that I resolve to lose weight and actually follow through with it. My problem is that never happens – and not just for me.
According to research from the University of Scranton, only eight percent of all Americans who make New Year’s resolutions achieve their set goals. To put that low number in perspective, recent approval ratings for members of Congress are higher than the rate of successful resolutions, and that’s just downright pathetic.
Maybe it’s just part of our nature to fail at New Year’s resolutions; “losing weight” and “spending time with family” just seems so much lower on most Americans’ list of priorities than paying their electric bill. If you want to remember your resolutions, you have to make sure that the resolutions are simple and specific so that they don’t get lost in between all of daily life’s clutter. Instead of saying “I’m finally going to lose weight this year,” write up a schedule where a trip to your local gym’s Tuesday and Thursday pilates class is your number one priority (or number two, five or seven, but still tangible and on paper).
“A resolution to ‘lose some weight’ is not that easy to follow,” social psychologist Roy Baumeister notes. “It is much easier to follow a plan that says no potato chips, fries, or ice cream for six weeks.”
I won’t lie; you probably won’t see any New Year’s resolutions from me anytime soon. I’d love to lose some weight, but I never will just because I wrote “New Year’s Resolutions!” in big, bold letters at the top of a plethora of post-it notes adorning my wall.
But, I do need to change my life for the better – just like everyone else – so I’m going to start eating healthier and exercising. To achieve that, I’m going to eat smaller portions and start going to yoga again at least once a week. Hopefully that happens for me, and hopefully the same for everyone else out there living the struggle. Just maybe, next year, I’ll get to see rational, tangible New Year’s resolutions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram while I’m eating baked goods and binge-watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix with my brother – but not too many baked goods!