Why do we write New Year's Resolutions?

#1 — Behind the Filter

Ben Conlin
3 min readDec 13, 2023
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

With the end of the year fast approaching, it will soon be time to write my 2024 New Year’s Resolutions and recommit to being the Best Version of myself.

Who is the Best Version you might ask?

The Best Version is the version that goes to the gym every day. The version that skips the mid-day soda, the version that goes to bed early, does homework on time.

These are the values that are instilled into us at an early age.

Our collective goals center around health and wealth, prioritizing productivity, dedication, and consistency. New Year’s Resolutions are an opportunity to refocus on the “grindset” and track our progress — for all of three weeks, at best.

And then we fall back into our normal habits, succumbing to weakness and moving back into the realm of the stagnant, self-loathing, and lazy.

But why is this the mindset that we subscribe to?

Why does failing to go to the gym day in and day out make us lazy?

Why does pre-crastination so easily fall to pro-crastination?

Why is dieting doomed for failure?

Pressure from society surrounds us, telling us who we should be, what we should do, and where we should go. It dictates our stress levels as we scramble to fit the mold. Or, conversely, struggle to fight the mold.

The oft-quoted “Diamonds form under pressure” is erringly tossed around, justifying the means to an end without consideration of the full scope of the issue, which, at its heart, is you.

You are the full scope of your story.

You are more than just a thoughtless machine, driven by a society with no regard for you or your life.

You are an individual, beautiful, unique.

Unhealthy stress, though potentially “beneficial” in the long run, is still unhealthy. While the fiscal, athletic, or physical side of you may improve, it will come at the cost of other areas.

Loneliness, anxiety, depression, fear, and lack of confidence will begin to bubble in forgotten corners until they overwhelm your rational side and lead to the inevitable loss of progress, motivation, and consistency with your shiny New Year’s Resolutions.

This year, instead of subjecting myself to the ritualistic setting of Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-Bound goals, I’m embarking on a different sort of journey.

A more forgiving trail.

This year, the goal will be self-discovery, an intentional relaxing of the strict adherence to social convention and measuring of societal standards.

It will be a journey to find myself, discover my passions, and learn to love the unique individual that is living inside.

Until tomorrow,


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