Time and Again – New Year Resolution

Time and Again – New Year Resolution…

-Sujan Shrestha

January 1st or Baisakh 1, usually these are the days people are found to be in unusual mood of happiness and optimism. The moroseness of humdrum of life withers away and there blossoms a new man, the man with strong determination and who has belief in future.  It’s not hard to guess what I am talking about. It’s the beginning of a new year and so it happens at least twice a year for Nepalese , the fervor of New Year Resolution nonetheless grips them strongly in both the times.  All over the world, New year is not just a beginning of the same cycle of time and life but it’s thought to be the start of new epoch of life which has the spring flow of new hopes, enthusiasm and optimism.  The resolution kicks in and thus promises are made to be better in future leaving the old evils behind them . But does it work??  I don’t have any issue for people making steadfast resolution in New year day. But the simple question is why to wait for a whole year even when it can be done on anyday of a year??

But first question is why do people even have to make resolutions? Timothy Pychyl, a professor of psychology at Carleton University in Canada says that resolutions are a form of “cultural procastination,” an effort to reinvent oneself. People make resolutions as a way of motivating themselves, he says. People need motivation time and again to steer themselves and new year day provides that favorability than any other day as it has become customary thing to do by every people to make new year resolutions.  But this simple knack of making and reciting the same old verses of dos and donts every year might work against the pre-conceived notion of goodness of new year resolution.

The tendency to wait for a new year day to make resolutions is not more than a mere “cultural procrastination,” as said by Pychyll.  This alone indicates the failure to keep up the promises in coming days and indicative of repeating the same promise the next year. The atypical inclination to wait for a whole year to be ready for the change is actually resisting to change and falling back in the same old vices, and mind this time to be in more extremity. If someone is genuinely ready for the change then he/she doesn’t have to wait for a new year’s eve to  make resolutions. It’s nothing more than a lame excuse for begging the forgiveness to god and promising to be better in a very high time when everything and everyone is hemmed in the good tune mood of freshness of a new  year.
Pychyl argues that people aren’t ready to change their habits, particularly bad habits, and that accounts for the high failure rate. This is because the attitude of people doesn’t change readily as the basic characteristic of attitude is that it is resistant to change. Making resolutions work involves changing behaviors—and in order to change a behavior, you have to change your thinking . Change requires creating new neural pathways from new thinking which doesn’t happen overnight. The most potential danger of new year resolution is high false and unrealistic goals and expectations likely to be set by people.  Getting laid back with a sip of beer nonchalantly stirs you up with high raised expectation and goal because the whole remaining 364 days makes you feel enough time to turn up the tide. But as this is the case that most people fail in their resolutions  in no sooner than a first week of next month, they seek the continuity in the former habits which is very damaging to one’s self esteem.

So making resolution in New Year is a very responsible task . There’s always a high chance for failure and equal is the chance of success if we channel the resolution properly in coming days. But if someone waits for a typical period of time of a year to make resolution then there is high probable chance for it to get dwindled and strengthening the former vices.

(Help sought from Psychology Today)

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