People & Inspiration

Cheat Sheet: The Pros and Cons of Having New Year's Resolutions

Cheat Sheet: The Pros and Cons of Having New Year's Resolutions

 

 

We're  just a few days away from 2019, and just like every holiday, there's a certain tradition that most of us follow every New Year's Day. Full of hope and ambition, we come up with our New Year's resolutions as we start fresh and aim for a new and improved version of ourselves.

But we all know that fulfilling these "resolutions" isn't always easy. Some of us may even give up after just a few months and forget about the mantras and promises that they came up with at the beginning of the year. But being able to push ourselves to be better isn't a myth. However, the question begs: do we really have to do it every time we change our calendars? Here, we think about the pros and cons of having New Year's resolutions in case you're feeling pressured to list some before the clock strikes 12.

The Pros: 

1. It allows us to reflect.

There's something about the year ending that makes us want to look back and reflect not only on our past, but also our present and future. The amazing things we've gained and lessons we've learned in the past year helped shape who we are right now. Doing so helps us move forward because of the thought that we have a better sense of the things that work in our favor and the things that brought us down. This knowledge will carry us through the new year and guide us as we set new goals.

2. It triggers our desire to be better.

From putting more money in our savings account to living a healthier lifestyle, the New Year triggers our desire to hit the refresh button and try to be better. Since the past year has shown us the things we should likely improve on and the things we should eliminate. That's where resolutions come in because they support positive change. We make resolutions to improve on ourselves and ultimately have a more stable and fulfilling life.

3. Sometimes, we need a deadline to motivate us.

Just like having school deadlines, there are some people who needs a due date to help them start working on their goals next year, too. Whether it's losing three kilos in three months or learning how to drive before the summer ends, there are certain goals that need a little pressure to motivate us to achieve them. That's why listing resolutions is perfect for those who need a certain timeline to reach their new aspirations. 

The Cons:

1. We become too critical of ourselves.

Despite being a great motivator, New Year's resolutions can also be the cause of our self-criticism since we tend to look past our achievements and focus on our weaknesses that we need to improve on. And when we still haven't improved on that area, we look down at ourselves more and further punish ourselves for failing. Although this is a normal reaction for most of us, feeling ashamed can be damaging to our mental and emotional health. When we set expectations and we don't achieve them, it affects our self-worth. That's why the best way to work this out is by not setting our expectations too high and being extra hard on ourselves.

2. Every mistake discourages us.

Change is a process. But, unfortunately, a lot of us want to progress quicker than others. And we look at every setback as a sign to stop instead of something that challenges us or helps us do better next time. We shouldn't forget that the biggest achievements take a lot of time and effort which means mistakes are inevitable along the way. But this shouldn't discourage us or set us back further away from our goals.

3. We feel too much pressure to beat the deadline.

What if you can't achieve your dream body in a year? What if you're still stuck in your job after aiming to move up the career ladder? What if your savings didn't grow as much as you projected it to? If you're the type who gets too pressured by dates and progress, then setting New Year's resolutions may not be for you especially if you feel like you're not in a good place to push yourself to be better. Take it one step at a time and let everything fall into place naturally. There's no need to rush!

 

If you're someone who needs a reminder to be able to achieve your goals next year, then do it. But if you think New Year's resolutions would just be something that will leave you disappointed, then it's better to just enjoy the last day of the year worry-free. As you continue to reach your goals, remember that you're in control of your own life. You don't need a new year to start making new steps on improving your life because every single day is an opportunity to do so.

ALSO READ: In Focus: Achievable New Year's Resolutions You Should Replace Your Old Ones With

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