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Could New Year’s Resolutions be Harming Your Health?

Updated: Mar 15, 2023


Many of us know what a New Year’s resolution is, and many of us are probably also guilty of not following through with a lot of our bigger New Year’s resolutions, but is there really anything to feel guilty about? These last few years have already been hard enough for so much of the population because of illness, death, and destruction around the world. Given that trying to follow through with New Year’s resolutions can put even more pressure on a lot of people, it might be better to skip them this year and maybe forever.


“New Year’s resolutions don’t typically come from a positive mental place. Focusing on what you feel may be “wrong” with your life can be detrimental – especially if you don’t fulfill those resolutions” [1]. A lot of people make their resolutions as a way to “fix” something about themselves that they don’t like or that they have been told they shouldn’t like. First of all, if you set a goal because you feel like you have to, you most likely won’t fulfill that goal. You should be setting goals because you want to and because they will help you better yourself. Those are the kind of resolutions that are more likely to be achieved. However, if you set a goal because you feel like you have to, you’ll see yourself as a failure if you aren’t able to follow through with it. Not to mention the fact that many people set extremely unrealistic goals for themselves like losing a lot of weight in a wildly short amount of time. This type of goal setting is healthy, especially because it will take a toll on your mental health if you can’t follow through.


Listen, making big New Year’s resolutions may work for some people, but for a lot of people, making smaller resolutions might be a healthier way to celebrate following through with a New Year’s resolution. Small goals or resolutions might be things like meditating for 5 minutes every other day or, if a goal for you is to lose weight for health purposes, you could set smaller goals, like losing 5 pounds in a month, so they don’t seem overwhelming or unattainable, and it also won’t seem like such a hard hit if you don’t achieve it this time around because guess what? There’s always the next day, or the next week, or the next month for you to try your hand at it again.


Just remember, a huge New Year’s resolution isn’t worth stressing over, especially if it affects your mental health negatively. Set small goals, take your time, and celebrate the little victories you make along the way.



1. Baksh, J. (2021, January 4). New Year's Resolutions may be Harmful to Your Mental Health... 5 Things to do Instead. Foundations Wellness Center. Retrieved from




Author: Lauryn Agron

Editor: Kayjah Taylor

Health scientist: Catherine Sarwat


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