OPINION Why New Year’s Resolutions are old news

The popular saying, New Year, New Me has been trending on the internet with the end of another decade. New Year’s resolutions are a great way to set your intentions for 2020, however a problem arises when there is no follow-up to the big changes that we promise to ourselves. BRITNEY COULSON takes a look at how the notion of revolutionising yourself at the start of every year can have a negative impact on our self-improvement. As we start a new decade, is it time to rethink whether New Year’s resolutions are going to help you become your best self or if they will deflate your hopes? Maybe New Year, Same You, Fresh Perspective is the way ahead in 2020…

Once the clock strikes midnight, we have this urge to transform into new and improved versions of ourselves. As if we press update on our bodies; we pledge to eat healthier and be savvier with our money. As a society, we are attracted to this seemingly perfect pattern. With the overwhelming pressure of these promises, it’s not long until we fall right back into the same tendencies.

What if swearing to start the New Year as a New You is more harmful to your self-improvement than you might think?

As a uni student, my resolutions are mostly bold statements of the success I desire and how I want to up the anti at the gym. Unobtainable resolutions begin to form; I want to get a high distinction in every class, I want to work out daily, I want to become a yogi… The list goes on.

Perth’s own Dr Katherine Iscoe, the founder and director of The School of Body Confidence, supports resolutions as long as you actively try to stick to them.

“New Year’s resolutions are like kids: they’re fun to make, but take a lot of effort to maintain,” Iscoe says.

She encourages people to create realistic action plans for our bold declarations of change.

“The problem starts with us focusing on resolutions, rather than our resolve. A resolution is like buying a lottery ticket, we hope and wish to be the winner but other than that hoping and wishing, we do little else. We just wish. We don’t do.

“To resolve to do something is an active choice and making a commitment and going through not one, but a series of processes to achieve that goal,” she says.

Making bold New Year’s Resolutions with no follow-up plan is just saying empty words. What if you don’t have to become a New You to achieve your goals? What if we are more than capable of kicking ass without undergoing insane change?

Melissa Jones, a local health coach aiming to empower busy professionals, believes that checking in with herself regularly is more beneficial than making a New Year resolution.

“If that goal isn’t achieved a sense of failure can overcome [us] which unfortunately defeats the whole process,” she said.

There is no way to know what lies ahead in 2020. As humans, we can only control so much of life. Setting a goal and adapting it to your life each month will bring you more improvement than going to the gym every day for the whole of January, but not working out once in February.

“Change is inevitable and in order to grow things must change. [We] put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I think being flexible is the best way to go if considering making a New Year’s resolution,” Jones said.

Is dedicating January 1 as the day we start living our best lives, one giant leap of faith into the unknown of a whole year?

Although many find comfort in the saying “New Year, New You,” Jones simply said that she “doesn’t live by it.”

New Year, Same You, Fresh Perspective. The people we are today is the result of years of living. You do not have to rework your entire existence in just one day or year to better yourself. A fresh perspective can spruce up your life. Gather up all the knowledge that 2019 has taught you and pack it in your backpack as you trek through the new year.

The person you are right now is probably killing it. Take that knowledge and fuel your goals this year, just as you are. Bring on 2020!