New Year, New Me?

New Year, New Me?

The lies we tell ourselves at the beginning of every year

Sam Barrett - COLUMNIST

 

Welcome to another year of fun and bad decisions! After the train-wreck that was 2016, I am sure that many people are excited to move forward into 2017 with a clear mind and several ideas for what the future will hold. Most people take January as an opportunity to think of resolutions and goals in the hopes that they will accomplish them this year. There are plenty of things to choose from, but generally these goals are things that would ideally help individuals better their lives.

The most popular resolution is exercising more. The number of gym memberships always increases at the beginning of the year. However, most of these members drop off as the year goes on and they realize that a spur-of-the-moment commitment to exercise isn't something they can maintain. Without planning and motivation, these types of resolutions fall through. Personally, I've made a resolution to procrastinate less, but that seems unattainable for me. Regardless of that, resolutions have varied success rates and often for a plethora of reasons. Whether it is due to lack of time, motivation, or ability, resolutions don't always make it through the first few months of the year. 

Perhaps we're just too idealistic at the start of the year. We are excited that one year is dead and gone and, with the light of fireworks ushering in a new year of possibilities, we are swept up in optimism and make promises to ourselves that we don't think all the way through. Positivism is a great way to look forward to accomplishing goals in the New Year, but they mean relatively little without a drive and a plan in place. This kind of optimism can make or break a resolution, and I've seen too many friends break their resolutions a week in to the year, shrug it off, and continue living life as if they'd never set that goal in the first place. 

So why make resolutions at all? I think that setting personal goals for ourselves and having customized resolutions can be really productive. We make New Year's resolutions with the intention of making our lives better. It could be trying something new or maintaining a positive habit; these goals are things that can make us happier, healthier people. A goal that I think is better for some individuals is to genuinely set goals. Setting goals isn't always easy. Figuring out what we want and how we want to prioritize them can be stressful. On top of that, planning on how to accomplish these goals can be both complex and rewarding. Goals can range anywhere from going on weekly walks to waking up on time to writing down 3 things that make you happy each and every day. Little goals that we set for ourselves can be the most satisfying to accomplish. They're attainable and need just a little bit of determination to complete. They don't have to be life changing to be important to you. 

Making big resolutions isn’t effective unless you've really planned for them. Don't start off the year with an unrealistic lie to yourself that you know you ultimately won't keep. Instead, if you want a goal for the year, make it something attainable and build up your commitment slowly. You never know what kind of things you'll learn about yourself when you really take time to think. It's never too late to set goals and make priorities for yourself. Using the New Year's momentum and the last bit of January to push forward, I hope you all are able to make and accomplish goals that will be both attainable and personally fulfilling. I hope you have a successful year.

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