2017: New Year Resolutions

Photo courtesy of: BazaarBizarreSF

It’s the end of December again and that means it’s almost a new year. And with every New Year we get a strange reoccurring sense of magical hope and inspiration that everything will be different.

As the clock ticks to the new hour, the calendar changes and we leave the previous year behind and enter a fresh one, and for some reason all our deep-rooted aspirations feel possible again.

We’ve all been there. We’ve each stood on the threshold of a new year and vowed to change our own little world. Indeed, statistics from data sites such as Statistic Brain show that 62% of people in Britain aged sixteen and over make at least one New Year’s resolution every January the first.

Some people stick to these seriously desired or casually selected determinations and achieve their plans, whereas others give up or hit stumbling blocks on day one, two or who knows, and the enchanted thrill of their resolution seems to fade overnight and a new day, week or month just doesn’t seem the right time to start again, and we have to wait for a brand-new January 1.

So, the question is, what are the top five most popular New Year Resolutions that people dedicate their next 365 days to, or well, however long they last?

5. The fifth most popular resolution taken on by people is the desire to pack our brain with knowledge. No matter who we are and how many qualifications or skills we may have under our belt, we always want to be better educated. This can take the form of finally getting our high school grades, going to university, entering into an apprenticeship or a new form of training or even learning a new language.

But why do we want this? Well for many people it is a practical plan in order to get somewhere in life. Maybe they need high school grades in order to get into university a year later, or perhaps they want to consider a new line of training so they can become self-employed and manage their work time better around their family. However, for some people, it is just about achievement. They may never intend to use their new-found education for any practical reason, because the personal contentment that they have it is enough.

4. The fourth most popular New Year’s resolution is to travel more. The idea of travel sparks so many romantic ideas in our head like adventure, romance, cultural learning, experiences and sometimes even the hope that we will flourish and find ourselves in a foreign land. Often, we get tied up with work, educational or family responsibilities and travel takes a bit of a back seat both financially and time wise. But every year, millions of people explore the globe in both warm and chilly climates, either for fun and relaxation, or to gain some inner peace or growth.

3. The third most popular New Year’s resolution is to do with work. Most of us can relate to being in a job or career we don’t like or don’t feel fulfilled by. That is why every year people choose to seek a different career pathway. We hope that a new occupation will bring us more money, or better opportunities, more recognition within a field, admiration from family or peers, or potentially help us relocate somewhere more desirable.

Either way, each year people look to change jobs, whether that means getting a promotion in the same firm or moving to a bigger division at the other side of the world, all because we seek material, emotional or professional gain within one of the most influential and time conscious aspects of our life.

2. The second most popular New Year’s Resolution is all about love. Each December 31, there are many people who have no one to kiss when the chimes strike twelve and they hope that the next time the bells ring out the New Year, they will be in a relationship. Now some people are looking for true love and the pathway to happily ever after. Others are looking to just dip their toes back in the water. And then there are those who just want string-free fun.

Regardless of our intentions, studies show that various forms of positive relationships benefit our emotional state and help us to strive for and enjoy other positive areas of life. But these findings are not news to us, most people innately seek relationships and that is why love, in one shape or another, is the number two priority on people’s list.

1. But what is the big number one New Year’s Resolution that tops the charts amongst British wishers and plan makers? Well, believe it or not, it is weight loss and fitness. Yes, we live in a western world which is fanatical about perfect body images and is paranoid about health, and as a result, we pledge to sculpt our bodies at the gym, trim off the fat with healthy eating and reduce our risk of heart disease and diabetes through counting the calories and latching on to every fresh popular diet.

Once again, there are many reasons for weight and fitness being the top priority on the list. Time and time again, people feel they need to sort themselves out before the other aspects of their external world such as the previously mentioned love, work, travel and education can be focused on. We can control our own body more than we can handle the less predictable areas of our existence. We think that if we can master our own weight and health, then we will be more physiologically and physically equipped to challenge the other extents of our life we want to reshape.

So now that it is almost January 2017, it is time for us to think about what change we want to make and to really ask ourselves why. Why does that change matter to us, and what do we really want to achieve? Maybe once we’ve done that we can figure out the best way to stick to our New Year’s Resolution and as we welcome in the end of another December in 12 months time, we will maybe finally glimpse that fulfilment we so desperately seek.

Caroline Malcolm-Boulton

Caroline Malcolm-Boulton

Writer, Journalist at reviewsphere
I graduated from Stirling University with Honours in History, Film and Media, and have extensive journalism experience. I spent two years as Arts, Film and TV Editor at Brig Newspaper.
Caroline Malcolm-Boulton
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