The Profitization of New Year’s Resolutions


Olivia Hood

The Profitization of New Year’s Resolutions


New Year’s is a day celebrated worldwide, a celebration for welcoming in the incoming year, declaring that it will be better than the last. A large part of this, in fact, is built upon the individual, and the infamous New Year’s resolution. And while it may be promoted as a harmless endeavor in self-growth, it is actually rooted in something far more conceited, aiming to take advantage of people for profit. 


New Year’s Resolutions themselves are based upon the very idea that we, as individuals, are flawed, and these flaws are hindering our success and happiness in life. And instead of honing in on the idea of earnest self-growth, acceptance, and actualization, most resolutions are focused on surface level ideas. Statista, a statistics focused resource, reports that the three most prominent resolutions in the US are weight loss, eating healthier, and exercising more. All of these are primarily concerned with the idea of living a “healthier life”. And while this idea in itself isn’t inherently misguided, it is drowning in populous idealized standards that promote insecurity and self-loathing, both of which are easy to be capitalized upon in a consumerist society. 


It is no coincidence that commercials and other promotions promoting this “healthier lifestyle” and an “easy, fast solution to help you drop those pesky five pounds” have an annual resurgence around this time. Usually starting late December, and continuing until mid to late January. Expert reviewed resources like CNET are already reporting on these various diet and nutrition corporations, such as Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem, and which one makes the best fit for you. Companies, like those listed above, have strategically deployed dramatic increases in advertising and product promotion, often with “real” accounts of members themselves, around the time of the new year, looking to profit off of the annual resurgence of popular insecurities. 


Global Newswire, a worldwide news source, reports on the massive influx of profit in the weight loss industry alone. Stating that as of 2022, the industry reached a historical high in profits, ringing in $58 billion. This obscene amount of income conclusively proves the addition of New Year’s resolutions to the ever growing list of victims of profitization, all centered around squeezing the last dollar out of every human quality. 


This reality should not come with the rogue of surprise, as it has become an everyday part of life, almost glazed over since it has become the “normal”. However, it doesn’t have to be. As we welcome 2023, take the time to truly consider what your resolution, if you have one, means to you, and where it is coming from. Tread carefully throughout this media consumed world in order to avoid falling into someone else’s profitable ploy. But most importantly, welcome this new year for all it will bring, whatever that might mean for you.