When we arrive back at school after Winter Break, most of us will undoubtedly have made and broken at least 12 different New Year’s Resolutions. I was recently watching “The One with All the Resolutions” Friends episode and was reminded of the silliness of New Year’s resolutions. [Spoiler alert!]: Joey wants to learn guitar, Phoebe wants to fly a commercial jet, Chandler resolves to not make fun of the gang, Rachel can’t gossip, and Ross wants to do one thing everyday that he hasn’t done before. Throughout the episode each friend’s resolution causes so much tension they break their resolutions.
Think back to New Year’s Resolutions you have made in previous years. How many of those have you actually fulfilled? I am very willing to bet it’s a small fraction of them. Perhaps, you fulfilled those that could be accomplished rather quickly, such as a to do list item. However, these are not the lofty goals we often set for ourselves in the New Year. We prefer to set much higher caliber goals namely, solving some sort of internal crisis we feel needs to be fixed during throughout the year.
So why do we set such lofty goals? Perhaps it’s a jumping-off point for many. Take the classic weight-loss resolution; isn’t it better to have tried and lost some weight than not tried at all? Maybe your resolution is to be a better person. Even if that trend dies down, at least you tried.
New Year’s Resolutions are mainly high expectations we set for ourselves that push us out of our comfort zone. The New Year is a time when we feel we can accomplish anything because we have a brand-new start. So what if our resolutions cause anxiety? When you look back at the first few months you were bound to your resolution, you will realize you accomplished something. And maybe next year you can pursue that goal even further. Moreover, you will have done something you otherwise would not have.
The bottom line is, the New Year is a time we devote ourselves to a higher image of ourselves. We have such anticipation for the upcoming year we set lofty, often unachievable goals. Maybe some of these goals are silly, like Phoebe wanting to fly a commercial jet. At least she had a goal and found some enjoyment trying to accomplish it. This New Year, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”