Sorry to be a Debbie Downer (sorry also to all the Debbies out there that this is a common English phrase that affects you negatively), but be honest with yourself—you’re not going to keep your New Year’s resolutions. Studies show that only 8% of people accomplish their resolutions for the new year. But I’m sure you’re one of them . . . In all seriousness, I do hope my negative attitude and snarkiness toward the subject persuade you to do better. Here are some common resolutions that you won’t keep this new year, but just to be nice, with some tips on how to keep your resolution sprinkled throughout.
1. Teenagers (and most adults) who are aspiring to use their phones less—Resisting the urge to jump on any social media platform is especially hard because studies have shown that using your phone releases dopamine in your brain, which helps you feel happy. If your brain is now used to 6 hours of extra dopamine a day from your phone, it’s hard to put it down for even 4 of those hours. Social media also gives you instant connection with people, even though that connection isn’t very genuine.
Resolution tip: Find other things to do that release dopamine in your brain, such as exercise, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, or listening to music. You can also try taking every opportunity to have real human connection.2. Shopaholics trying to spend less—These days, it’s easier than ever to spend money. There are even platforms that allow you to pay quickly from any website without inputting your information again and again.
Resolution tip: Create a budget and track everything you spend. Seeing the numbers can help dissuade you from spending. If that doesn’t help, try being accountable to someone else about your budget.3. People who’ve never read a book in their entire life making a goal to read a lot—I know this is a bit of an exaggeration, but you know who you are. I support your goal to read more, but there’s a good way and a bad way to do it.
Resolution tip: Be specific. Don’t just say, “I’d like to read more this year.” Even if your goal is to read 2 books this year, write it down. You can also write down the date you plan to finish each book and write reading time into your schedule each day.4. Broke college students trying to travel more—There are cheap ways to travel, but unless you have wealthy parents who will pay for your trip, your options are limited, because chances are you’re either TAing for minimum wage or working at some fast food restaurant. AND you still have to pay rent and tuition and gas money for your trip across the county (Yes, that says county because that’s how far you’d make it, maybe).
Resolution tip: Not to sound like a broken record, but save, save, save. You don’t need the latest, coolest electronic device, you don’t need new clothes (probably), you don’t need to eat out 14 times a week. Save all the money you can. If you really want to go on a trip, you can.5. Anyone who works from 9 to 5 trying to live life to the fullest—Just listen to the inspired words of Dolly Parton: “Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living / Barely getting by, it's all taking and no giving / They just use your mind and they never give you credit / It's enough to drive you crazy if you let it / 9 to 5, for service and devotion / You would think that I would deserve a fat promotion / Want to move ahead but the boss won't seem to let me / I swear sometimes that man is out to get me . . .” Being stuck in the office is especially hard in the world today because we can go on the internet and see all the amazing things that we’re missing.
Resolution tip: Become more involved in your community, spend your weekends how you really want to, help people, be kind. These things are likely to help you live your life to the fullest.6. People who exercise daily trying to exercise more
Resolution tip: Just stop. You’re doing enough. Great job!7. Anyone trying to lose weight—I think you look great just how you are. Society is trying to get you not to think that, but just ignore them. But if you need to lose weight for your health, I sincerely hope you can.
Resolution tip: Throw away your temptations and don’t buy any more. Also, drink a lot of water.8. People who just bought a sugary treat who said they’re going to cut out sugar—Go ahead and eat it (because I would too), but maybe try again tomorrow *cue record scratch sound*
Resolution tip: Don’t say, “I’ll start tomorrow.” As the genius Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
One Year-Round Resolution
Here is the only resolution you should have all year: reduce back pain with the Chirp Wheel+ because old habits die hard but back pain shouldn't. Back pain shouldn't be a New Year’s resolution but rather a year-round resolution because your back will thank you. And, on the plus side, having a happy back gives you the ability to try and break bad habits.
Julson, E. (2018, May 10). 10 best ways to increase dopamine levels naturally. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-increase-dopamine#TOC_TITLE_HDR_8
Prossack, A. (2020). This year, don’t set new year’s resolutions. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashiraprossack1/2018/12/31/goals-not-resolutions/?sh=71f24edb3879
Team Lemonade. (2019, July 18). Here’s why you can’t stop looking at your phone. Retrieved from https://www.lemonade.com/blog/psychology-behind-phone-addiction/#:~:text=It's%20a%20neurotransmitter%20that%20makes,aroused%2C%20motivated%2C%20and%20happy.