Hopping on the resolution train

Addison Smith | Opinions Editor

“New Year, New Me,” has become a staple in our lives through New Year’s resolutions. We chose to become healthier, nicer, smarter, etc. through “small” goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year. But how many of us actually make them? And how many of us actually keep them?

According to a recent study by the University of Scranton, 45 percent of Americans make resolutions, but only 21 percent actually keep them. However, the study mentions that college-aged people keep their resolutions 39 percent of the time, higher than the national median.

What is it about resolutions that make us feel so much better about ourselves? According to a Marist survey, people’s resolutions are about becoming better versions of themselves. Thirteen percent of people surveyed said their goals were to lose more weight, 10 percent said they wanted to exercise more and nine percent said they wanted to become better people.

That being said, there are those who go a different route and use resolutions to help them quit smoking or drinking (seven and two percent respectively). Then, there are those who aim to save more money or help themselves fiscally as seven percent say their goal is to spend less and earn more, while one percent hope to buy a new house.

However, in a quick newsroom survey, only three staff members had resolution ideas, and they related back to health and fiscal responsibility. This shows that the biggest problem with resolutions isn’t the number of people who make them, it’s the problem of sticking with them.

So, if your goal is to exercise more, don’t overexert yourself right away. Do a quick 20 minute workout the first couple of times to get back into the swing of things. Then, as you build up endurance, start to go to the gym for 45 minutes to an hour.

Don’t plan on becoming the best version of yourself right away, which is probably what deters so many people from sticking to their resolutions. Results won’t be seen in an instant, but over time you will start to feel better. The American Psychological Association (APA) offers this advice, “Don’t get overwhelmed and think that you have to reassess everything in your life. Instead, work towards changing one thing at a time.”

With all of this said, don’t give up on your resolutions so quickly and don’t be upset with yourself if you do jump ship. According to the Marist survey mentioned earlier 30 percent of people who make resolutions quit halfway through January, whereas 44 percent will quit by the beginning of summer.

So, if you’re hoping for that perfect spring break or summer body, stay in the majority. If 70 percent of people can make it to the second week of January, you can too. If 56 percent of people can make it until June by sticking to their resolutions, you can too.

Just keep your goals reasonable and build on them as you go, and you’ll stick to your resolution until 2016. And, if you want to resolve to be better later in the year, who needs a calendar date? Perfect and better yourself whenever you like, not just in January.

And if you do not have a resolution, don’t think you have to. Resolutions are for people, like myself, who like to have a concrete set of goals to work towards. Overall betterment of yourself doesn’t require resolutions, but for some, it helps us to stay on track.

So, if you want to make a resolution, go for it. Write it down and tell your friends so you have reminders of your goals. Currently in the newsroom, we are holding each other accountable and helping the staff to keep to their goals (well the three that have resolutions, that is). Remember, “New Year, New Me.”