Why Do We Make New Year’s Resolutions?

Jan-26-2022 at 4:13 pm, Posted by NuPasta

Every year, January 1st comes around and we hear “New Year, New Me”. While many people want to implement some kind of change in the new year, there is some psychology behind this phenomenon. Below, we’ll discuss what kind of New Year’s resolutions people make, why they make them, and how to brainstorm more effective resolutions going forward.

Common New Year’s Resolutions 

Most desire to change their habits, but what makes these changes so difficult is that we actually have to change an existing habit before we can replace it with the new one we desire. According to Forbes, the most popular New Year’s resolutions are about self-improvement – living healthier, losing weight, stopping smoking or drinking – or trying to meet specific career goals and objectives. Resolutions like these are good to have because it shows that the individual is aware of their current situation and has ideas on how to improve it, and ultimately, these resolutions keep us optimistic with a more positive mindset.


So, Why Do We Make Resolutions?

When we look at our lives, we tend to see “chapters” instead of a continuous stream of time: the high school years, the college years, buying our first house, becoming a parent, moving to a new town, etc. When we transition into these new chapters of our lives, there is a sense of “I left the old me and this is the new me with a good opportunity to start new habits”. This is called the “Fresh Start Effect”, a phrase coined by Behavioral Economist Katherine Milkman. Studies have shown that specific event dates – like a birthday, an anniversary, or a new year – can enable people to be more effective at setting and achieving behavioural-changing goals. Milkman calls such events “temporal landmarks” because they cause many people to evaluate their lives and consider new directions more seriously.


Brainstorming More Effective Resolutions

Of course, there is no guarantee that our attempt to change will succeed. In fact, about only 8% of people actually meet the resolutions they set. Even more disheartening, those who have achieved their goals often feel excited about the outcome but then quickly fixate on another issue they have yet to resolve.

The solution: Try changing your perspective on the goals you make, and analyze why you want to complete them so badly. Why is it so important for me to exercise daily? Why do I feel the need to work towards a promotion at work? Why should I be making more of an effort to see friends and family?  Then, think of the things you achieved that genuinely made you feel happy or grateful – things that you didn’t have to write down in a list just to check them off. These types of goals create a gentler reinforcement that can help you work up to those changes that you’d like to make into habits.

In the end, it’s always beneficial to make resolutions and stick to them. Even if you don’t keep all of them, the act of making them and striving to achieve them will have positive effects on you.

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to begin eating healthier? You can start with nuPasta – one pack of our noodles contains 25 calories and 6g of dietary fibre, not to mention it’s also gluten-free, keto, vegan, and kosher. (Come on, we had to mention it!)


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