New year, same old?: Students share thoughts on New Year’s resolutions

Lifestyles, News, Opinion, Student Life

It’s that time of year again. Christmas has come and gone, Valentine’s Day is on its way, and thousands of people across the country are hard at work fulfilling their New Year’s resolutions.

Yeah, right.

New Year’s resolutions are notorious for being empty promises pledged at the stroke of midnight of each new year. Once every 365 days, countless people swear up and down that this will be their year to shake off bad habits or to lose excess weight. These promises are often destined to be either instantly forgotten, or wasted away over the course of a few weeks (if not days), after meager and diminished strides for change amount to nothing. Ultimately, many make resolutions, but most never even come close to accomplishing their goals.

This begs the question: is it worth it to make a New Year’s resolution?

When asked about her experience with New Year’s resolutions, junior Cheyney Brown said that although she had no ill will toward the practice, she avoided making any resolutions this year due to the general difficulty involved with maintaining them.

“I don’t see the point in making a New Year’s resolution if I’m not going to do it,” Brown said. “Or if I only do it for the first week or month or something, and then I completely forget about it.”

Junior Daniel Robey admitted that he has never even made a New Year’s resolution.

“I have never actually officially stated a New Year’s resolution…I have a lot of goals that I set for myself throughout the year, and I follow them pretty well,” Robey said. “When I put myself up to something, I make sure it gets done. I always looked at New Year’s and was already pretty proud of the stuff that I’ve been doing, so I’ve never singled out one specific thing as my New Year’s resolution…I don’t need a holiday to tell me to make a goal.”

Despite the pointlessness and impalpability that seems to characterize the chances of a New Year’s resolution ending in success, there are people out there who champion the cause and strive to make their New Year’s resolutions a reality. To them, a new year equals new motivation to change for the better.

One of those people was first-year Morgan Henry, who had set 10 goals for herself to accomplish as her New Year’s resolution.

“In the past, [my] resolutions were all made as a kid, and now I’m starting to transition into adult life,” Henry said after being prompted to explain what drove her to adopt and maintain these goals. “I am more motivated to make resolutions because I feel like I can process them better now and can actually stick to them and start looking at them from a more mature perspective … I want to be able to make rational decisions and focus with a clear mindset.”

Henry described how her resolutions were centered on improving how she views herself and how she interacts with the world around her. So far, through the power of personal motivation and a desire to change, she’s been able to uphold her resolutions. When asked what it was that helped her to stick to her goals, Henry said that the key to a successful New Year’s resolution is to think small and to set realistic standards for one’s self.

“Make simple resolutions. Don’t make some drastic resolution that you can’t stick to,” Henry said. “Start out with something small…Don’t start out with a big resolution right off the bat because you’re just going to lose interest and get bored after a while.”

This sentiment was echoed by junior and fellow resolution-maker Kris Bigelow. Bigelow’s New Year’s resolution was to be healthy, and she saw New Years as an opportunity to set and reach this goal for herself.

For those who choose to set out into 2018 with New Year’s resolutions in mind, Bigelow advised to “actually want to achieve it.  Don’t just set it as an abstract goal, actually be passionate about reaching that goal and not setting it on the back burner when it’s least convenient for you. Actively strive for it every day.”

A New Year’s resolution can have different meanings for different people. While some may say that New Year’s resolutions are not worth the time it takes to utter them out loud, there are those view this holiday as their chance to make a difference in their lives. Yes, the New Year can be a fun opportunity to proclaim a personal resolution, but in the end, it is up to the individual to decide whether or not they will succeed in reaching their goals in life.

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