By Melanie Love Salazar
Web Content Contributor
New Year’s Resolutions tend to be considered a hate or love topic. If you ask someone whether they have made any, it seems they do one of two things; some tell you they do not believe in them and stress the importance of short-term goals, or they simply tell you about the goals they want to complete.
The “controversial” topic of New Year’s Resolutions got me thinking, why is it controversial at all? After all, the first definition you will see is Wikipedia’s.
“A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western World…in which a person resolves to continue good practices, change an undesired trait or behavior, accomplish a personal goal, or otherwise improve their life at the start of a new year.”
The definition is completely harmless, yet some can not stand the sense of pressure associated with making them, possibly because they associate it with the obligation of keeping them without fail.
Most human beings have goals; perhaps they may not act upon them, but goals are goals. They give us something to look forward to accomplishing and a sense of purpose (this too can have a negative effect if taken to the extreme.)
Therefore, making goals that one strives to achieve is no different than the goals we set for ourselves on a normal basis (and there is no rule against having both). The difference, however, is most people wait to reflect on them till the end of that year.
So what makes us believe they are wrong to make?
The social media uprise is not completely to blame for society’s negative view towards New Year’s Resolutions, but it’s because of the overload of opinion that causes this.
Social media is an extraordinary tool for business, a sense of connection, and creativity; however, with that, sometimes also comes the pressure to conform to the opinions other people are posting about, who in turn, might be affected by that pressure in the same way. It is a domino effect.
An influencer posts about why they don’t believe in something, and a person questions their own beliefs, even if it is something they have never thought twice about.
The simple act of making New Year’s resolutions would not be the first idea preached to be “good’ or “bad” when there is more to consider in the ultimate impact. Ideas like not offering people second chances (we have seen this with cancel culture) and constantly speaking your mind (even if it hurts others) are commonly portrayed as “good” and the “right” thing to do, when in reality, if abused, can certainly have more of a negative impact than anything else.
All in all, the main idea is that it comes down to whether the action at hand is being abused or treated wrongly by an individual. If you give yourself no room for occasional failure in your resolution (which does not mean complete failure), you are bound to become unmotivated in making them.
Alternatively, if you make room for the possibility of failure, and short term goals too, you might feel more open in making them.
It’s more in how an individual thinks and treats an idea. Society and social media can sometimes blur our ability to think about how we see something. That is where we see the most negative impact.
Featured image by Melanie Love Salazar.