A New Year’s Hello: Resolutions Abound

by Shanna Kelly

I am going to be nicer. I am going to keep my room clean. I am going to work harder in school. I am going to lose weight.

As midnight approaches on Jan. 1, the tradition of creating a New Year’s resolution becomes more of an obligation than an uplifting life decision. The original intention of a New Year’s resolution was to give people the chance to start new; new year, new you. It’s like a clean slate. But as the years go on, these personal choices become forced. When people feel compelled to create a resolution, it becomes unrealistic and our drive to achieve these goals is absent.

First is the most common of all resolutions: to lose weight. When people think of the main thing that they want to change in their lives, body image is usually at the top of the list. It is almost the easiest go-to resolution because the results of your goal are easy to see. It’s simple: Go to the gym, eat right, lose weight. But a month or two later, the number of people at the gym still following their resolution dwindles. It appears that January is the month when everyone commits to what they want and the other 11 months of the year are dedicated to wishing for the body or lifestyle that we don’t have.

Another popular resolution involves people saying they want to be nicer or work harder. These decisions are just empty phrases lacking the motivation needed to achieve them. They are so general that there is almost no harm done at the end of the year, since there is no concrete evidence of whether we have been nice or worked hard enough. I believe that we should all strive to be better people and better versions of ourselves, but how many of these people ask themselves at the end of the day what they have done in those 24 hours to be a better person?

The problem is that people are creating New Year’s resolutions for the wrong reasons. We are not doing it because we truly want to take action and change our lives in the new year; we are doing it because it has been a social necessity our whole lives. Everyone wants to look better and be better, but we don’t actually want to dedicate our time and mentally commit to these personal challenges.

So forget about resolutions this year; goals and resolutions should be created when you see a change you want to make in yourself or in the world, at a time where you are ready to give everything you have to make it happen.