Every year in January, gyms and fitness centers all around the country receive a tremendous boost in business and membership as New Year’s resolutions are made, but by February if not mid January, all that bustle has died off. Just because they don’t always work out, that doesn’t mean New Year’s resolutions are pointless. Even though so many are doomed to fail, New Year’s resolutions can still be positive factors in the lives of people everywhere.
Each New Year is an opportunity to reassess your life goals, and decide if you are living your life the way you want to. Knowing how you want to live your life is the first step to living a more fulfilling life, and even if our New Year’s resolutions don’t shape out to be the way we imagine, at least we’ve had time to reflect on where we want to be in a year, or five, or ten. Just having thought about that for the month of January can get us on the right track, because maybe that thought will resurface again. It may take a while, but at least we know what we need to do to make us happy.
In addition, New Year’s resolutions are an opportunity to recognize how much power you can have over your life. You get to decide what your resolutions are and how those goals can change your life. There isn’t anybody else preventing you from accomplishing those resolutions, so if you fail, it’s on you, but if you succeed, that just goes to prove how much power you have to control your own life.
Furthermore, making new resolutions can help you realize old resolutions or achievements you’ve succeeded with. By acknowledging what you want to change in your life, you also must acknowledge what you don’t want to change, and all of those things are little victories that go to show how much good you have in your life.
Although it is true that most resolutions are dead by Jan. 31, that’s no reason to stop making them. Just because one resolution doesn’t work out doesn’t mean you’ve failed. The benefits of resolutions don’t come from resolutions themselves, but from the self-reflection they allow you to make.
Tips to help you achieve your resolutions are to be realistic, have a strong support team made of family and friends, make plans, measure success, and reward yourself. All of this will lead to a positive change in your life.
In conclusion, because of the self-reflection they open the door to, New Year’s resolutions maintain their importance by allowing people to celebrate positive aspects of their lives, decide what they need to change to make their lives better, and realizing how much control and power you have in your life.
Alex Houdeshell, Staff Writer
Alex Houdeshell is a staff writer for the 2014-2015 Colonel. She is the Design Editor of Ledyard’s Horizons Yearbook, plays JV soccer, runs distance in indoor and outdoor track, and is President of Operation Smile.
I don’t like taking a pessimistic and/or cynical view on things, but New Year’s Resolutions are something I just cannot stand. I understand it’s fun to write a list of what you want to do when the year starts, like go to the gym, start on some new books, become an expert Netflix viewer. But in the end, what does that say about our willingness to be in the now, to embrace spontaneity and feel good about making an immediate change when the idea comes to mind?
A few years ago, I recall writing down a list of maybe 50 (or however many things fill up a double sided sheet of lined paper) things I wanted to accomplish in the year. Big goals. However, at the end of the year, I looked back on that list, and I realized how little I actually accomplished. Part of it was probably sheer unwillingness (*ahem* laziness *ahem*), but most of it was just things I didn’t get to, were too big to accomplish in a year, or too small to even remember after the frenzy of New Year’s Resolutions faded away into the actual new year.
I think above all that New Year’s Resolutions make for a future milestone that is actually something that can be achieved in this moment. I’m not saying that one shouldn’t have goals in their life; without feasible goals, there isn’t really a life worth looking forward to. However, I think waiting until the New Year to make a change in your life promotes complacency and inactivity or a stall in life, waiting for the right moment to get something done. There is no time like the present, and I think that should be more encouraged to everyone, especially kids in high school. It’s fun to make extraneous goals like collecting all the kittens in the world or knitting a sweater, but what’s wrong with doing it right now?
If New Year’s Resolutions are effective for you, have at it. But if you find yourself like me, looking back on all the things you left undone, take some time and ask yourself what matters to you and how you can get your goals done. Don’t wait until the new year. Nike says it best: Just do it!
Jamie Bogue, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Jamie Bogue is the Editor-in-Chief for the 2014-2015 Colonel. She is a drum major for marching band, sings in Ledyard Carolers, and is attending Liberty University next fall.