Why New Year’s Resolutions Are an Outdated Concept For Millennials

We’re almost through with the first month of 2017, which means many New Year’s resolutions have likely begun tapering off. People go into the new year with pipe dreams of losing weight and improving financial standings only to find they can’t stick with it. This isn’t cynicism; it’s simply science.

Though the concept of the New Year’s resolution might be as old as the Gregorian calendar, it doesn’t necessarily gel with the millennial generation, who are dealing with being educated more and yet earning less. Suffice to say, the concept of the New Year’s resolution doesn’t entirely work with the current millennial generation.

At this point, many millennials are just trying to keep their heads above water. They’re dealing with underemployment and high-interest loans. New Year’s resolutions will often deal with financial matters. However, a millennial who’s student loan and credit card debt is equal to or greater than their yearly income cannot be reasonably expected to get out of debt. They can and should do things like apply for higher-paying jobs for which they are qualified. However, a weakened job market for college graduates is what puts millennials in financial predicaments such as these.

If you look at the most common New Year’s resolutions, you’ll notice that several of them are vague and not easily qualifiable. For instance, the resolution to “live life to the fullest” could mean anything from waking up early and going for a walk every morning or quitting one’s job and moving to the Bahamas. “Get healthy” could mean losing ten pounds or going vegan. So, it’s no wonder people fall off these resolutions that have no specification.

For millennials, they don’t have time to deal with vagueness in their quest to better their lives. Many of them are seeking to overhaul their standing in life and likely find resolutions as we know them to be a Band-Aid on a problem. Resolutions to travel more or read more aren’t a great suggestion for someone who can’t afford to get away for even a couple days or is too saddled by work and school to enjoy a book.

It is also worth noting that these are New Year’s resolutions, but many millennials are living one day at a time. Or, you might say they are living one paycheck at a time. For a millennial who is stressed out about how they will pay their bills each month, making New Year’s resolutions is the least of their concerns. Not every resolution requires good finances in order to be fulfilled. However, it does add an additional responsibility that can burden one’s mind.

Millennials do and will continue to make New Year’s resolutions, in at least some capacity. It’s human nature to want to improve and the New Year provides the perfect opportunity. However, the New Year’s resolution as a traditional concept isn’t the priority it was once for millennials. Should the job market improve and wages see a raise, you might see a few more millennials hitting the gyms in January and February. For now, it’s one day at a time.

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