A New Year, A New You: Resolutions

A New Year, A New You: Resolutions

It’s that time of year again. The holidays have come and gone, and the new year has brought about new resolutions. Many of us make resolutions that we can follow through with for most of the year. However, a majority of us make the same resolution that we broke the year prior.

Junior Abbey Branco said, “I usually quit my resolution sometime around the beginning of March.”

According to an article in The New York Times by Tara Parker-Pope, four out of five people who make New Year’s resolutions will eventually break them, and a third won’t even make it to the end of January.

“Resolutions are something people often adopt but frequently cannot stick to,” said Principal John Gould. “I have not thought of a New Year’s resolution. When my daughter was born – twelve years ago – I resolved to step away from coaching basketball to spend more time with her.” He also said that he tries to constantly work at getting better throughout the year.

A large majority of us have the same resolutions: get out of debt and save more, lose weight, and exercise.

Senior Alison Cadieux said, “I usually don’t have one, but this year my New Year’s resolution is to stay in shape – like everybody says, but they never do.”

According to a New York Times article by Anahad O’Connor, many people resolve to diet in January but gradually lose interest, a cycle that one study called “false hope syndrome.”

O’Connor wrote that the annual surge is a good sign, but “yo-yo” dieting — repeatedly losing and regaining weight — may be harmful to physical and mental health.

According to O’Connor’s article, Patrick M. Markey of Villanova University said, “You can’t look at a diet as a temporary thing. You have to look at it as something you do forever. Otherwise, you’re just going to cycle forever.”

Mr. Gould said, “Remember, Theodore Roosevelt spoke of the ‘strenuous life.’ I guess that’s what I aspire too.”

Parker-Pope wrote that nearly 40 percent of those surveyed attribute breaking their resolutions to having too many other things to do.

English teacher Marek Kulig said, “One [resolution] lasted past the next morning before I lost interest.”

Approximately 33 percent of those surveyed in The New York Times article said they simply aren’t committed to the resolutions they set.

Junior Rumi Lazarova said, “I usually don’t write down any New Year’s resolutions because I know I won’t follow through on them.”

Some people feel as though resolutions are a private affair.

Interim Associate Principal Joanne Desmarais said, “I do feel like on one level resolution-making can be a private and even spiritual undertaking.”

She does believe in New Year’s resolutions because she feels like this time of year is a natural place in time to pause, reflect on our successes and failures from the previous year, and to resolve to do better.

“Sometimes doing better has a very tangible quality to it, as when people resolve to lose weight, to exercise, or do better in school,” said Ms. Desmarais. “Other times it can be sentiments around being kinder or more compassionate toward others.”

She said that sometimes people who struggle with serious issues, like addictions or other behaviors, see New Year’s as the perfect time to change direction.

“The New Year’s resolution that I made in 1997, and have maintained ever since, was to quit smoking cigarettes,” said Ms. Desmarais. “It was a very nasty habit I developed in college, and I hated it but was addicted.” In January she had resolved to quit, and by February 17 that year she had accomplished her goal.

It seems that the real problem is that people make the wrong resolutions. According to Parker-Pope’s article, experts say that the typical resolution often reflects a general desire, rather than a specific goal.

History teacher Elizabeth True said, “I think resolutions are our way of reflecting on where we have been and thinking about where we want to go.” She said that for this year, she has not thought of a resolution yet. In the past, she has resolved to give herself more time to relax. However, it didn’t last very long.

“Mine [resolutions] usually don’t last very long since I try for the things I should be doing but have ignored,” said Ms. True.

If you make too many resolutions, you won’t have enough willpower to stick to all of them. “People make all these different New Year’s resolutions, but they are all pulling off from the same pool of your willpower,” said Florida State University psychology professor Roy Baumeister, who was quoted in Parker-Pope’s article. “It’s better to make one resolution and stick to it than make five,” he said.

The holidays are a time to spend with family and friends, and for many of us, we have special traditions each year.

Sophomore Meagan Sebastiao said, “I usually spend time with my family. We just relax and watch the ball drop altogether.” Oftentimes, families and friends have parties and enjoy celebrating the start of the New Year together.

Sebastiao said, “Some years we go to parties, but there’s nothing better than being with the ones you love as the New Year begins.”

New Year’s isn’t just a time for celebrating the upcoming year, but it’s really about spending time around the people you care about.

Senior Drew McArthur said, “I usually spend New Year’s with my family.” He said that they usually drink milkshakes and watch the ball drop.

“My only wish for each New Year is that it will be better than the previous, in whatever way,” said Lazarova. “My New Year’s Eve is always spent at home with my family.” She said that she always Skypes her grandparents back home in Bulgaria to celebrate their New Year’s as well.

Mr. Kulig said, “I think they [resolutions] are for the resolute.”