Why do people make New Year's Resolutions? I asked Mr. Lynn about his opinion on why people make them and if he thinks they are a good idea. He told me his exact thoughts and it seemed like he’s been pondering this for a long time. “I think people feel that they need specific rules and a time to work on self-improvement, and they think that if everyone’s making a New Year's Resolution, that they’ll do it too, and they will be more likely to keep it.” Making New Year's Resolutions almost seemed like a conspiracy when I interviewed Mr. Lynn. “For example, workout gyms actually love New Year’s because a whole bunch of people will go and buy a gym membership, they'll use it like three times… and then they'll keep paying for it for a while before they get around to canceling in like, I don’t know, May or something.” It really does seem like a way to get extra money. It almost seems like people are getting taken advantage of. “Companies and people know that people will make New Year’s Resolutions and probably won't keep them… people are probably not going to be ready to change unless they are actually willing to change and a made-up tradition won't affect that.” On the other hand, Lynn says what other people do isn’t his business; but he has never made a New Year's Resolution. Instead, he just tries to “Endeavor for reasonable self-improvement at all times during the year.” He doesn’t want to assign any special meaning to a goal he has to make himself better.
There were some people that make very thoughtful resolutions, and then others just make up something just to say they have one.
Of all the people that took the survey, 9 people kept their resolutions at least half the time out of 18 people, that’s only 50%. On the contrary, only 5 people out of 18 regularly make New Year’s Resolutions or 28%.
I decided to Interview Mrs. Haverland because she regularly makes New Year’s Resolutions. This year her’s was to stay off her phone in the afternoons after she gets home from school. She decided to make this her Resolution “because I was very distracted when I was home with my girls… I only get 3 hours with them in the afternoon, and I was spending a lot of time checking my Email and being on social media.” (“looking at pictures of puppies”) Another way of describing her goal would be “being more present with my family”. Mrs. Haverland tries to make New Year’s Resolutions every year but isn’t always able to keep them (she tries her best). This year she has allowed herself to restart more; if she doesn’t do the best today she’s going to try better tomorrow. Luckily, she gets help if she starts slipping. “I let my daughter (7 year old) know that it’s a goal, so she bothers me a lot. Everytime she sees me on my phone she’ll say ‘Mom!’ and I’ll say, ‘I know’, so I have some accountability too.”
I also Interviewed Aspen Walsh and she told me that she didn’t really make one at first; her New Year’s Resolution was going to be the same as it was the following years- be a better person. “But then, I read a book… and I was like, you know what? I’m going to read more books this year… It was kind of like an after New Year's Resolution.” Aspen feels that if she reads more she will get smarter and it will help get her off her phone. She also thinks that this happens a lot; people might want to change or start a new resolution a week or two after New Year's has already passed.