Let us call out the imperfections of “New Year, New Me”

By Victoria Gill-Gomez

Opinion Editor

In the continuous lull between Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, a common trend resurfaces: “new year, new me.”

Whether this is on social media or in-person conversations, these few days are obnoxiously spent on revamping an individual’s personal lifestyle whether that be  physical or emotional.

While some individuals do not believe in this tendency, we all set up lists for ourselves to complete in the new year: travel more, go to the gym every day, stop eating processed sugar, journal more. These hopes of manifestation can be overwhelming when a resolution list is long and demanding of your primary time, energy, and resources.

Let me repeat that: establishing a new habit or goal takes a demanding amount of your time, energy, and resources.

A 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, as reported by Healthline, indicates that the time to develop a habit ranges from 18 to 254 days. On average, it takes 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. Even with that, this is drastically different from the usual myth that it takes 21 days to develop a habit.

Of course, this all depends on the habit in question and many other factors. One of these include who the specific individual is. According to the article, some people are better at diving right in to making big changes, while others need to take it one step at a time.

Not only does the idea of “grind” mentality affect any chance of developing hobbies and a personality outside of a career, I find it resulting in self-harm. “New year, new me” sets up a mindset of ultimatums for yourself: clear cut success or downright failure, with no in-between. This is both damaging to your self-esteem and health, as we push ourselves to hit the ground sprinting instead of alternative methods.

Accoring to a CNN article earlier this month on the study of University of Scranton psychology professor John C. Norcoss, of the 40% of Americans who set resolutions around Jan. 1, only about 40% to 44% will be successful six months later.

Some suggestions are to make a smaller list of resolutions or to share among a support group your goals. Even if you are not a fan of this bandwagon, it forces you to make something up for the sake of not standing out. It’s scary to create and share your list in order to be held accountable because New Year’s does feed into procrastination. Once something is said to be done, we most often do not even get started.

So, this must all be mind over matter.

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