Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions in 2013

Photo by mr_wahlee used under Creative Commons License

By Ronna Fisher, Assistant Editor

For many, a new year means a fresh start.  It is a chance to reflect on the past: the good, the bad, the ugly—to refocus your goals or priorities. Many times this opportunity materializes through New Year’s Resolutions. A few of the top ten resolutions for 2012 include: lose weight, spend less, learn something, quit smoking, and fall in love.

To some, resolutions are a tradition.  They are a chance to evaluate your life and look towards the future with specific goals or priorities in mind.  Some people laugh off new years resolutions has just a chance to set a goal you know you will never meet. SNU junior, Tesica Starkey, explains that she never makes New Years resolutions.

“I never make them . . . I just don’t want to go out of my way to make a list of goals for an entire year; I would rather focus on the present because who knows what is actually going to happen in the upcoming year,” Starkey said.

In fact, it is not very common to find someone who does meet a resolution.

The New York Daily News wrote, “Just 28 percent of those who make resolutions actually succeed in them, and 46 percent never get started.”

Multiple conversations with SNU students have found that they are no different.

“I feel that resolutions are not very productive. You should not wait until a certain part of the year to start a new healthier habit,” freshman Grace Williams said.

While students may not make resolutions, they do make sure that goals are a part of their lives.  Williams discusses things she wants to be better at this year.

“I want to read more nonfiction books, make all A’s in my classes, and have better relationships,” Williams said.

Although many people struggle with keeping their resolutions, research shows that they are useful.

“People who explicitly make resolutions are ten times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions,” life coach Serge Pregel wrote on proactivechange.com.

Noelle Thorson, SNU sophomore, understands how fear can hinder someone from reaching their goal and be very discouraging. But she also explains what a great feeling it is to reach a goal.

“My nephew, who is three, was watching my brother and his friend play a game,” Thorson said. “When my nephew asked to play, he quit after just a few tries and state, ‘I can’t do it.’ It made me realize how much more difficult the task at hand is. When we persevere, though, the end result is so rewarding. It may take some extra work, and it may not be easy work, to get it accomplished, but once it’s done you feel so good about yourself. New Years Resolutions do that for me.”

Forbes.com provides tips to keeping, making, or reaching your New Years goals.  They suggest creating specific plans to achieving the goals.  Also, make sure the resolution is important for you, and that it is something you truly want to do.  Most importantly, by realistic and positive about the goals you want to reach.

Williams agrees that the best way to keep a resolution is to make sure it is realistic. Starkey suggests breaking up larger goals.

“Although I don’t have any experience in this matter, it seems like a sensible approach would be to focus on meeting a piece of a goal each day. A resolution stretching across the entire year can seem unrealistic, but if it’s broken into smaller goals each day or week, it might seem more attainable, and progress will be made,” Starkey said.

Do not be afraid to try, even if you think you may fail. The year 2013 may just be the year you finally get all A’s or the year you are finally fiscally responsible enough to put gas in your car when you need to.

Whatever the goal, Thorson says it is “a statement of a new beginning.”  Starkey agrees, “For some people they’re a good way to start the year with a fresh and positive perspective.”

What do you think?