It is officially the new year. January brings packed gyms, fad diets and false expectations of a new year being the only opportunity to accomplish goals. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology, half of the U.S. population will make a resolution of some sort. Despite this, only 8 percent of people who make resolutions stick to them.
The urge to make resolutions is driven by advertisements for juice cleanses and discounted gym memberships sold by fit, beautiful women. Companies know few people succeed in their resolutions, but they don’t care because they see profits either way. According to Gold’s Gym, gym traffic increases by 40 percent between December and January.
Gyms and fitness studios are not the only places taking advantage of "resolutioners." Some clothing stores move their athletic clothing and gear to the front of the store in January. Store owners know people use the new year to get back in shape before swimsuit season, and want to make sure those products are easily accessible.
Because people get so consumed by false hope of an unrealistic goal, these meaningless resolutions can severely hurt morale and decrease self confidence. People have been brainwashed to believe this yearly defeat is totally normal and they can try again next year. Society has made us believe if we choose not to have a resolution, we are weak and should be striving to improve ourselves this year.
Many fail to acknowledge some people may already be their best self and are content with the way they are. People shouldn’t feel guilty for already being happy and wanting to continue their life as they have for the past year.
It is time for the health and fitness industry to stop preying on the optimistic New Year’s resolution makers who just want to lose those five pounds and after February, not step foot in the gym for another 11 months. Society needs to stop making people think New Year's is the only appropriate time for change. People should not put off their goals until January because of pressure to commit to a certain resolution. Making resolutions is just setting yourself up for failure. Instead, motivation to be your best self should be more prevalent and celebrated year round. There is no reason to wait until January to make your goals a reality.
Sarah Grobety is a 20-year-old mass communication junior from Atlanta, Georgia.