If you’ve ever looked back at a year and thought “I could do better,” then you know the feelings that drive a person to make a New Year’s resolution. According to StatisticBrain, only 45% of people in the world even attempt to make a New Year’s resolution, with an interesting 38% of people claiming they’ve never even tried. And it makes sense; New Year’s resolutions are hefty promises to ourselves. We promise ourselves that we will concretely and acutely evolve—not over the slow burn of the next 12 months—but immediately beginning January 1st.
Growing up, one of the New Years resolutions I vowed to make was to never watch porn again. At the time I thought it was stunting my physical attraction to actual people, and causing me to confuse my already fragile sense of heterosexuality. Shortly after though I got my first laptop for college and suddenly it was porn pretty much in full-force. I was disappointed in myself, but only until I realized that setting expectations that are so black and white was a sure-fire way to let myself down. I wanted to know if other people faced the same problem: that their New Years Resolution was too difficult to follow through and in retrospect seemed silly, so I asked 10 people about the most insane resolutions they weren’t able to keep and this is what they had to say.
1. Fresh Out Of College Job
“I had just started a new job in New York City fresh out of college for the first time. I made it my New Year’s Resolution to stay as late as my editor every night to show her I was worthy of this opportunity. It was grueling. I had no idea that she worked 10-11 hour days and rarely took lunch outside of her office. I stopped mid-March.” – Laurie, 25.
2. Quitting Smoking Should Be Last
“I was just coming back from rehab for the third time and I made it my New Years resolution to never touch a cigarette again. They said it rehab to worry about smoking last so I lasted with my resolution for about 2 days.” – Kyle, 30.
3. Taking a Break From Sex
“I vowed to stop having sex for a year after a girl in college broke my heart. I slept around a BUNCH after and it stopped feeling good so I was like ‘I’m going to take a break.’ When you’re 21 and you vow to stop having sex…..good luck.” – Chris, 23.
4. Stop Talking to Jerks
“I vowed to stop talking to jerks. Of course I was 20 and was in a sorority and pretty much only surrounded myself with jerk guys. I somehow was able to convince myself I wasn’t hanging out with jerks. I guess what I’m saying is I must have looked like an idiot to all of my friends and family and I don’t even think I lasted an hour.” – Jamie, 29.
5. Too Thin, Too Quick
“I vowed to lose 10lbs every month. I was very overweight after a hard time in college and I really wanted to lose a lot of weight really quickly. I didn’t even realize at the time just how unhealthy it is to try and lose THAT much weight that quickly? I lasted maybe a week into this insane diet plan I found online before throwing in the towel and losing weight the healthy way.” – Paulette, 29.
6. Grueling Stress
“I was just arrested for my 2nd DUI and I vowed to never ever have a drink or do drugs again. It was the hardest time of my life because I was obviously being drug tested every week and also really stressed out about all the legal stuff that was going on. I definitely aged 20 years in those 12 months haha.” – Richard, 26.
7. Setting Yourself Up For Failure
“I think I was really setting myself up for failure when I was 25, but I vowed I would only cook for the entire year because I was spending too much money on eating out. I was working as an assistant at the time and ended up having to eat things like cold beans out of a can because I would get home and was too exhausted to cook. I think I last two months doing that before I caved.” – Nikki, 28.
8. Without Retail Therapy
“When I was 30 I thought it was a really great idea to give up on buying anything other than groceries and essentials. I was having a really rough year and it was impossible for me to not try and suppress the pain of my divorce without some retail therapy.”- Barbara, 40.
9. Giving Up Wine Mom
“I tried to give up wine for an entire year. I’m a single mother with three boys and I’m doing it by myself. That was a f*&cking joke haha” – Mary, 35.
10. Never Speaking to Your Ex Again
“When I was right out of college I tried to make it my resolution to never speak to my ex again. It was a futile effort though since we were high school sweet hearts and had all the same friends, family friends, and shared a dog together.” – Christine, 28.