New Year’s Resolutions: Hypocritical or Helpful?

NEW+YEAR%2C+NEW+ME%3F+It+is+that+time+of+year+when+people+are+making+their+New+Year%E2%80%99s+resolutions.+Many+people+see+them+as+the+chance+to+make+a+solid+change+in+their+life%2C+while+others+simply+do+not+see+the+point.+
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New Year’s Resolutions: Hypocritical or Helpful?

NEW YEAR, NEW ME? It is that time of year when people are making their New Year’s resolutions. Many people see them as the chance to make a solid change in their life, while others simply do not see the point.

NEW YEAR, NEW ME? It is that time of year when people are making their New Year’s resolutions. Many people see them as the chance to make a solid change in their life, while others simply do not see the point.

Connor McKee-Sargent

NEW YEAR, NEW ME? It is that time of year when people are making their New Year’s resolutions. Many people see them as the chance to make a solid change in their life, while others simply do not see the point.

Connor McKee-Sargent

Connor McKee-Sargent

NEW YEAR, NEW ME? It is that time of year when people are making their New Year’s resolutions. Many people see them as the chance to make a solid change in their life, while others simply do not see the point.

Savannah Wood, Copy Editor

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We are currently in the period of the holiday season where people are beginning to contemplate making a New Year’s resolution. It is the same procedure every year; people make vague resolutions and indulge in their most unhealthy habits before January first with the excuse of “I’ll just start next year.” People are rarely neutral when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions; you either believe the concept is the first step to making a constructive and withstanding change in your life or that it is deceptive and only a deplorable attempt of trying to change toxic habits. Part of me wants to join my peers and be solely pessimistic. If you know that you most likely will not adhere to you goal, why make one in the first place? Another part of me realizes the importance of setting goals for ourselves.

Ultimately, people should not criticize others for attempting to make a positive cange in their lives. Even though New Year’s resolutions may seem futile, (a survey in the New York Times found that “4 out of 5 people who make New Year’s resolutions… eventually break them”) the best changes start with a goal in mind. I think the resolutions that ultimately fail are the ones that are not specific enough and lack a plan to execute their goal. If individuals make ill-defined resolutions, such as losing weight, saving more money and being more organized, their ambiguity facilitates their downfall.

Even though she believes that most New Year’s resolutions are destined for failure, my mom likes to make resolutions that are quantitative. This year she wants to try a new recipe each week. It is a goal that she is able to track and is simple enough that if she misses a week, she will not get discouraged and completely abandon her objective. This is also a resolution that she has accomplished in the past and thus knows that she is capable of doing it again.

Many people are bitter towards New Year’s resolutions because individuals are often persistent with vocalizing their personal resolution to whoever will listen. Although this also used to always get on my nerves as I thought people were trying to project how they were a better person that I was, I realized that these individuals are typically looking for people to hold them accountable. They want others to ask about their progress so that they have something to be proud of and people to encourage them. Although this sometimes twisted road to success seems irritating on the surface, ultimately, there are still results. Out of the few serious New Year’s resolutions I have made, my most successful was one I shared with my family. We all vowed that we would cut out added sugar from our diets for as long as we could, ideally the whole year. Since we all attempted the goal together and offered support and advice to hinder sugar cravings, we lasted several months. Although we fell short of our original goal, the experience was rewarding nonetheless and taught me the benefits of having a support system that is facing a similar challenge.

Making a plan to better ourselves seems tedious in our constantly-occupied society. We use our deficit of time to rationalize falling into unhealthy habits. Some neglect their physical health and eat what they believe is most convenient while others fail to indulge in activities that benefit their mental health.  I think goals in general can only be truly achieved if an individual is eager to carry it through. Of course we all want to see the results of a year long path to a toned physique, but most people genuinely dread having to go to the gym to spend hours running on a treadmill. And to those who do not, I salute you. But motivation has to start somewhere and if you feel inspired, use it to our advantage. Anyone who is willing to dedicate time to plan a New Year’s resolution should not be criticized for making a “flimsy goal” and should rather be applauded for trying to better their life. Success has to begin somewhere.