As January is coming to a close, I can’t help but think about the flawed concept of New
Year’s resolutions. We are, all of us, inherently flawed individuals. Because of this, the concept
of resolving in the name of self-improvement is a beautiful thing.
This being said, the often-unfortunate truth about being inherently flawed is that we are
wired to live in the moment. As we are faced daily by decisions on a daily basis, every action
becomes an inner battle between our willpower, and our desire for immediate fulfillment.
Willpower is like a muscle. In order to maintain its strength, it must be exercised
consistently, or else it won’t be of much use. This is the reason that the majority of New Year’s
resolutions don’t last through February.
Since all of our daily decision making is done in the moment, committing to a year’s
worth of moments at the strike of midnight is almost always a recipe for disaster. New Year’s
resolutions do some things right and some things wrong. Self-improvement does start with a
single decision, but that commitment must be pursued with every action we make.
Unfortunately, the majority of resolutions aren’t taken seriously. There is a reason that
the number of gym memberships purchased is higher at the beginning of the year than it is near
the end of year. New Year’s resolutions have suffered from the same effect that has plagued
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day for years.
The concept of self-improvement has been capitalized upon, resulting in an increase of
under-used gym memberships and weight loss program subscriptions. So what can be done about
this yearly phenomenon?
The problem lies within the concept of a yearlong commitment. The reasoning behind our
resolutions must be one of consistency, which is easier said than done when a cup of coffee
sounds better in the moment than a cup of green tea (or whatever your resolution may be). It is
important to see self-improvement as a weekly, and even daily battle. In order to maintain our
resolutions throughout the entire year, we must first make the decision to resolve daily.