Why you should make New Year’s resolutions even though you won’t keep them

Don't give up on this tradition yet.

Harper's Bazaar India

As a child, the one thing I loved about New Year's Eve was that I was allowed to stay awake until midnight. The idea was thrilling, but every time sleep got the better of me merely half an hour after my stipulated bedtime. However, when I was eight years old, I made it to midnight and my mother asked me what my New Year’s resolution was. After she explained the concept to me, I excitedly said I would eat less chocolate. Needless to say, my resolution lasted only until New Year’s Day when I polished off a chocolate pastry and reveled in my sugar high. Since then though, I have made a resolution every year. I’ve never stuck to it beyond January, but I am not ready write off this tradition. It helps me streamline what I want my year to look like and who doesn’t need that, right? 

Here’s why it’s a good idea to make resolutions despite knowing you aren’t going to stick to them. 

A sense of hope  

A resolution is a goal you know you might not be able to achieve. If you do, congratulations! But if you give up on it halfway through the year (or in the first week of January), it’s okay because when it comes to resolutions, it’s the thought that counts. They fill you with hope and optimism, and give you something to look forward to. Even if it is for a short while, you expect things to improve. You want to work towards achieving something that will drastically impact your life in the long haul. Resolutions, if nothing, bring a sense of positivity.  

Fresh start  

The end of one year and the beginning of the next can feel a lot like you’re hitting a rest button. And making a resolution is what makes it feel like a clean slate. Whether you want to be more social or you want to start doing more physical activities or you want to tick off places from your travel bucket list, a resolution will allow you to reflect and focus. At least this way you’re clear on what you want and you can choose to take actionable steps towards having a fresh start. 


When you intentionally decide something—be it something as small as you want to join the gym or something significant like you want to break up with your long-term toxic boyfriend—it helps you grow. You may not stick to it but at least, somewhere deep, deep down, you know the direction you want to take. When you’re moving forward with a clear mindset and intention, you will (consciously or subconsciously) take steps toward your goal.  


The first step towards achieving your goal is to have clarity about what exactly you want. At the end of the year, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed or like you weren’t productive enough. And that is where resolutions come in. Making a list of all the things you want in the next year gives you clarity and a sense of purpose.