New Year’s Resolutions: are they scamming us all?

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Shannon Turner, Staff Editor

January 2020 is well underway.  A new beginning. The dawn of a new decade.  The chance to turn a new leaf. The season for new year’s resolutions is here. 

New Year’s is more about noisemakers and a countdown, many people use it as a chance to set a goal, change their lifestyle, or try something new.  Students around William Peace University have begun choosing their new year’s resolutions, while others don’t see the point. 

Nolan Davis, junior public relations major, shares his planned commitment to his resolution and how it will be different for him this year.

“In the past, my family always urged me to have New Year’s resolutions.  I don’t think I really stuck with them because it felt like something I was obligated to do,” he said.  “But I think this time, since I am actually creating them out of my own wants and needs, I think I’ll actually stick with them.”

Can everyone stay dedicated?  How often do people stick to their commitment?  Looking at the most popular resolution, the amount of people that stay motivated dwindles by March.  

The most popular New Year’s resolutions revolve around getting in shape.  According to a survey by Nielsen Global Media, 37 percent of people make their new year’s resolutions to stay fit and healthy, while 28% plan to lose weight. 

This makes January the peak month for gym memberships. This may sound like the perfect time to join the gym, people are fresh off the new year and swimming in motivation.  But who benefits more?

Nick Phan, junior business analytics major, told he fell victim to the great membership deals followed by running out of motivation.  He shared his thoughts on why he thinks New Year’s resolutions like his often give out.

“I think New Year’s resolutions force people to think they want better for their lives, but they’re not quite ready for it, me being one of them,” he said. “I think everyone does it to kind of feel better about themselves, but then forget about it later.”

Gyms win the moment a person signs up because every month the payment is taken out of the account. Cancelling the memberships make quitting official.  This is what values the gym market at $36.5 billion for 2019, according to reports by IBIS World Industry Market Research.

Reported by IBIS, 80 percent of people who joined the gym in January of 2015 had quit within the first five months.  What may seem to be a surprising number, gyms only expect about 18 percent of people who buy memberships to use them consistently.  So who is winning the most from new year’s resolutions?

Bergin Gillespie, sophomore communications major at Peace, is not quite as enthusiastic about resolutions.  She believes the chance for commitment and change is year round.

“I feel like you can always make a change in your life, it doesn’t always have to be at the beginning of the year,” she said.  “I feel like there’s 365 opportunities, so why just put it all on one day?”