The New Year’s Resolutions Singaporeans Can’t Complete
Top image: Inga Seliverstova / Pexels

Along with the new year comes humanity’s greatest lie to themselves: New Year’s Resolutions. Gyms will be filled, bookstores will receive an influx of customers, and that distant cousin finally reaches out to you. 

But life gets in the way. That elusive work-life balance we promised ourselves gives way to habitual overtime, fresh books collect dust on our shelves, and that distant cousin once again becomes a distant memory.

Nevertheless, a new year means a fresh start. And when the clock strikes 12 tonight, we can’t help but renew the resolutions that fell by the wayside. 

So here’s to 2024 and the resolutions Singaporeans can’t seem to tick off year after year.


“I still want to quit my job. 

I’ve been thinking about it for years. At this point, I think even my friends are sick of hearing about it. When we get together every month, all we talk about is how sick and tired of our jobs we are. And then we all make a pact to quit next year. 

But then over time, we get swayed. The job market is so bad, and my pay isn’t half-bad. Bo pian, what can we do? The job is sucky enough for me to want to quit but not sucky enough for me to actually want to do it. At this rate, I think it’s easier if I just got fired instead.” 

— Wei Hao, 28

“Every year, I renew my gym membership and tell myself I’ll work out. 

It only lasts three months before that five-minute walk to the gym seems like it takes 10,000 years. The only energy I can exert is just enough to go to the fridge and get a package of Lay’s potato chips. Maybe this year will be my year, but I doubt it. This is me keeping my options open.” 

— Issac, 26 

“My resolution is to book fewer Grab rides.

I keep saying that, but honestly, I just can’t stop. I think I’m genuinely addicted. It’s embarrassing to even admit this, but every month, at least $200 of my salary is spent on Grab or Gojek. I keep telling myself this ride will be the last one I ban myself from taking Grabs for the rest of the month. But then, I wake up slightly late for work. You can guess where this goes…

Now, I don’t bother keeping tabs on how much I spend anymore. It’s easier to just live in denial.” 

— Phoebe, 22

new year resolution
Image: Stephanie Lee / RICE File Photo

“I’ve been trying to get my motorbike license for two years now. 

I swear I’ve been trying, okay! But the lessons are just so hard to book. Plus, I’m working now, so it’s extra hard to find the time. I feel like I’ve forgotten what I’ve learned because it takes too long to book the next lesson. 

But getting a license means more freedom and a new potential side hustle as a delivery rider in the future. Hopefully, with more time management, I’ll finally get to take the riding test and get my license.” 

— Elise, 21

“I’m still trying (but failing) to go vegetarian. 

This resolution has been on my list since Covid-19. I succeeded for about six months before succumbing to a Double McSpicy. I just couldn’t resist. 

Ever since then, my motivation has been dwindling year by year. Sorry to the environment; I’ll try again next time.” 

— James, 24

“At the start of 2021, after reading Atomic Habits, my resolution was to start reading more books. 

I went on a whole rampage and bought six books from Kinokuniya. I was even actively surfing BookTok. After two years, I only managed to clear one-quarter of one book. The other four have been collecting dust on my shelves. I’m still going to add it to my resolution list for 2024 though. But just to make me feel better about myself.”

— Sab, 22

new year resolution
Image: Stephanie Lee / RICE File Photo

“I’ve been attempting to get abs since 2021. 

It all started because I had a National Physical Fitness Award (NAPFA) test, and I didn’t want to fail it in front of everyone. Also, it was circuit breaker period, and everyone was watching videos by someone called Chloe Ting during the pandemic, and I felt FOMO. 

I told myself I would get hardcore abs and become one of those ‘It girls’ and pilates queens. Yeah… it lasted a few weeks before I got lazy and couldn’t keep up.”

— Vanessa, 17

“I want to adopt a cat so badly! 

My parents and I have been debating this for ages. Every year, I beg them to let me adopt a cat, and every year, without fail, they tell me no. 

This is my third year asking for one. To convince them, I’ve started sending them—especially my mom—cute TikTok cat videos. I can tell that my mum is getting swayed because she doesn’t complain as much when I forward them to her. But my dad is still adamantly against it. I’m going to keep trying until they finally say yes.” 

— Jalyn, 21

“My resolution was to love my family and be contented with them. 

This is a resolution I’ve had for as long as I can remember. My longing for a happy family resurfaces every holiday and in every birthday wish I make.

My family dynamic is quite complex, to say the least. It’s dysfunctional and severely lacking in communication. There are a lot of fights due to conflicting religious beliefs and disagreements over the smallest of things. I grew up being abused a lot emotionally, amongst other stuff.

As the most passive person in the family, I am often the one everyone vents to. I feel as though what I do will not make much of a difference when we’ve been broken for so many years.

Being contented with them also feels like a hurdle because I constantly see how easy it is for my peers to eat out with their families or go on holiday together. Although I’ve started to accept my family for what it is, I think there will always be a part of me that mourns what we could’ve been if we were a little more understanding and a little less selfish.”

— Evelyn, 17


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