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22 May, Wednesday
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Are New Year’s Resolutions Still a Thing?

I was catching up with my friend over mala (麻辣) right around the new year. She’s a dance student at NAFA, and all this while I knew she was pretty ambitious. So I asked her about her goals and her new year’s resolutions for 2021, thinking she must have a few. She dryly shook her head, and said she doesn’t have any. She says she doesn’t see the point any more. ‘Instead of just making new resolutions every year, why don’t we just make it a habit to change?’ That question was in my head for weeks. And I got curious about what my other friends thought, so I started a poll on Instagram, asking if new year’s resolutions should still be a thing. The results? 40 replied, 23 said No, 17 said Yes.

Some of them expressed the enthusiasm for keeping the resolutions and ticking them off their list. Others told me that they’d prefer to enjoy being in the moment, instead of chasing down their goals. Clarice Ng, a dance instructor whose classes I regularly take, jokingly huffed at me for keeping my resolutions. ‘Enjoy your youth,’ she said.

No Time to Read? Here’s a Snappy Summary of This Article

  • Introduction: The article explores the origin, history, and relevance of New Year’s resolutions in the modern world.
  • Origin: The article traces the origin of New Year’s resolutions to ancient Babylon, where people made promises to the gods at the start of each year.
  • History: The article describes how different cultures and religions have adopted and adapted the practice of making New Year’s resolutions over time.
  • Relevance: The article discusses the benefits and challenges of making and keeping New Year’s resolutions in the present day.
  • Tips: The article offers some tips on how to make realistic, achievable, and meaningful New Year’s resolutions.
  • Conclusion: The article concludes by encouraging readers to reflect on their personal goals and values, and to make New Year’s resolutions that align with them.

Here’s the Thing About New Year’s Resolutions in 2021

The whole ‘new year new me’ mantra honestly deserves a good retirement now before it comes back and haunts us as lame memes, which is already happening. I’ve seen one that goes like this: ‘new year, new me.. ntal breakdowns?’ I shudder at what comes next.

What’s more, 2020 was a year where the plans we so meticulously paved are completely obliterated. Given the circumstances, 2021 feels like a continuation of last year’s chaos, with or without the vaccine. Perhaps that’s why there’s an instinct to make these resolutions. Because we want and hope for things to get better, and to leave behind the things that we think are mistakes.

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Maybe that’s why resolutions have been so hard to focus on, especially last year. In one study, over 80% of its respondents failed to keep their new year’s resolutions in 2020. And new year’s resolutions were already hard to keep before the pandemic. One research showed that only 8% of its respondents admit to keeping to their goals for the entire year, while 46% keep them for at least half a year

So I was surprised that some of my friends have decided to take it easy for the year ahead. After all, by committing to your goals in the new year, you could be missing the opportunity to reflect.

Change is hard. To change is to go against a part of you that wants to stay the same, and that might be pushing you towards unhealthy directions. When you can take stock of your life, so you can nail down your intentions for change.

Read Also: 6 Growth Mindset Principles to Embrace in 2021

I’m Still Keeping My New Year’s Resolutions for 2021, Though

Perhaps I’m still living in the good-ol’ pre-COVID times, still revelling in the optimism I had for 2020 when I was celebrating the new year in 2019. I suppose keeping my list of new year’s resolutions has always been a habit (I’m totally a Type A), and I’ve always enjoyed ticking off my list of resolutions.

But, I usually make sure they’re more or less achievable, and I make it a point to not get disappointed with myself when I don’t keep them. Say, for example, this year I wanted to learn six new recipes. Firstly, it’s achievable (I’ve already learnt two: bacon fried rice and pan-fried Japanese tofu with enoki mushrooms).

So even if I didn’t learn six recipes by the end of this year, I’d at least be better at cooking. After all, setting too many goals is one of the biggest common mistakes when making your new year’s resolutions.

Read Also:
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Keep Your Resolutions Light

And, I think it helps that I’m learning something, instead of quitting something. A study by Per Carlbring, a professor who heads Stockholm University’s Department of Psychology, and his researchers seem to reflect that. Carlbring looked at the degree of success of keeping their resolutions among their respondents. 

The study posits that there are typically two types of resolutions: the ones where we’re avoiding something, and the ones where we’re starting something new. Carlbring believes that, since quitting something is difficult, we’re more likely to succeed when we’re learning something new. There are so many sites and tools to help you learn, after all.

The study also found that respondents who had made more flexible resolutions and had some support from the people around them had more success at keeping their resolutions, compared to those who made more specific resolutions. This led Carlbring and his team to think that specific resolutions were actually detrimental, as participants became demoralised when they didn’t hit their targets, even if they were making good progress and overcoming their obstacles.

In other words, make the change for the right reasons, and for the right people. 

Remember, You’re Your Own Experiment

It’s okay if you don’t get to tick everything off your resolutions list. These are still trying times, we’re only human. We’ll still give in to temptations, in whatever form it comes.

Just like what my friend said, why not make change a habit? Your resolutions don’t need to be tied to the start of every new year. You can start again anytime, so long as it means something to you. If you missed your resolutions this year, there’s always next year!

After all, this year is a great opportunity for us to take a good look at ourselves, and our lives. It’s time we afford ourselves the grace of slowing down.

Here’s to a good year, everyone.


New Year’s resolutions are not just a tradition, but a way of expressing our hopes and aspirations for the future. They can help us focus on what matters most to us, and motivate us to take action towards our goals. However, making New Year’s resolutions is not enough. We also need to follow through with them, and make them a part of our daily lives. This can be challenging, especially in the face of obstacles, distractions, and temptations. That’s why we need to be smart about how we make and keep our New Year’s resolutions.

At Tropika Club Magazine, we believe that New Year’s resolutions are still a thing, but they need to be realistic, achievable, and meaningful. We also believe that New Year’s resolutions are not just about changing ourselves, but also about making a positive impact on the world around us. That’s why we encourage you to make New Year’s resolutions that align with your personal values and passions, and that contribute to the well-being of yourself and others. Whether it’s improving your health, learning a new skill, pursuing a hobby, or supporting a cause, we hope that your New Year’s resolutions will inspire you to live your best life.

We also want to help you succeed in your New Year’s resolutions, by providing you with useful tips, resources, and support. You can find articles on various topics related to New Year’s resolutions on our website, such as how to set SMART goals, how to overcome procrastination, how to deal with setbacks, and how to celebrate your achievements. You can also join our online community of like-minded people who share their experiences, challenges, and successes with their New Year’s resolutions. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to get regular updates on the latest trends, news, and events related to New Year’s resolutions.

We hope that this article has given you some insights into the origin, history, and relevance of New Year’s resolutions in the modern world. We also hope that it has inspired you to reflect on your personal goals and values, and to make New Year’s resolutions that suit you. Remember, New Year’s resolutions are not just a thing of the past, but a thing of the present and the future. They are a way of expressing who you are, and who you want to be. So go ahead and make your New Year’s resolutions today, and let us know how it goes. We are here to support you along the way. Happy New Year! 🎉


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What are some examples of New Year’s resolutions?

A: New Year’s resolutions are personal goals or commitments that people make at the start of a new year. Some common examples are losing weight, saving money, learning a new skill, travelling more, quitting smoking, or volunteering for a cause.

Q: How can I make my New Year’s resolutions more effective?

A: One way to make your New Year’s resolutions more effective is to use the SMART criteria, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This means that your resolutions should be clear, quantifiable, realistic, aligned with your values, and have a deadline.

Q: How can I track my progress on my New Year’s resolutions?

A: There are different ways to track your progress on your New Year’s resolutions, depending on the type and complexity of your goals. Some possible methods are using a journal, a calendar, a spreadsheet, an app, or a website. You can also share your progress with your friends or family for support and accountability.

Q: What are some benefits of making and keeping New Year’s resolutions?

A: Making and keeping New Year’s resolutions can have various benefits for your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Some of these benefits are improving your health, boosting your self-confidence, enhancing your skills, expanding your horizons, and contributing to society.

Q: What are some challenges of making and keeping New Year’s resolutions?

A: Making and keeping New Year’s resolutions can also pose some challenges that may hinder your success. Some of these challenges are setting unrealistic or vague goals, losing motivation or focus, facing obstacles or setbacks, experiencing stress or frustration, and lacking support or guidance.

Q: How can I overcome the challenges of making and keeping New Year’s resolutions?

A: To overcome the challenges of making and keeping New Year’s resolutions, you need to have a positive mindset and a flexible approach. Some tips to help you are:

  • Start small and gradually increase the difficulty or frequency of your goals
  • Celebrate your achievements and reward yourself for your efforts
  • Learn from your mistakes and don’t give up easily
  • Seek help or advice from experts or mentors when needed
  • Join a community or group of people who share similar goals or interests

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Terence is the deputy editor for Tropika Club Magazine. He is an analytical individual who enjoys learning about animals and different cultures. He has a curious mind and is always seeking knowledge and understanding. Terence is also a friendly and approachable person who enjoys making connections with others. He is passionate about his work in the publishing industry and takes pride in his collaborations with authors and editors.

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