At this time of year, motivation is at an all-time high. Gym memberships are being snatched up, saving accounts are being opened and our peers are slowly switching their takeout for healthy meals. Now if we’re honest, this motivation dies down rather quickly. The phrase ‘New Year, New Me’ is now said ironically and many people’s 2020 resolutions are the same as their 2019 ones. This begs me to ask the question: why are resolutions so hard to stick by?

Whilst the new year is a great time to reflect and highlight where we would like to improve, many of us fall back into the old habits we have created, unable to break them. The new year is almost like a carousel. As kids we hop on with excitement, ready to start our journey. You have the chance to pick a horse to sit on and want to ride it again and again. When riding again, this time you pick new horses to sit on. Then as you get older, seeing a carousel excites you again, you feel the same giddiness as you did as a kid, however, you no longer have that urge to ride it multiple times, and most of the time, if you ride again, you stay on the same horse to avoid the hassle of moving. This is how the new year seems to be like for me. When we were younger we had the excitement to repeatedly make changes in our lives, however as we get older, change becomes harder to accommodate and resolutions become harder to stick by. The new year is still exhilarating however that dies down once we get back into the old rhythm of life. 

The problem is that we no longer are those kids who are constantly giddy. Our excitement is no longer there, so when we make resolutions that don’t excite us past the new year, it is a lot harder to keep. Maybe the key to sticking to new year’s resolutions isn’t raw motivation, it is doing something that excites you as much as that kid riding a carousel. It could be swimming, learning a new language, spending more time with family or taking more holidays. Let your new year’s resolution be the cause of your excitement and therefore lead to motivation. Not just simply motivation on its own. 

Jaynelle Osei