New Year’s Resolution


New year, ‘New you’, New Year’s Resolution. Yay. Cue the confetti and balloons, fire works and candy, oh how a student revels in its glory: the glory of change, the glory of becoming a new person.

Yes, float atop the 2014 high…until these cold, hard facts bring a person’s New Year’s Resolution crumbling to the ground.


1st – 89% of peoples’ New Year’s Resolutions fail.

2nd – Of the people who do succeed, 46% percent of them do not reach their goal until six months later.

3rd -Progressively, more psychological studies show that constant goal/resolution affirmations make people with low self-esteem feel even more dejected.

4th- Ouch.


So say a student does want to make a change, one with all the new and none of the resolving to failure and gloomy statistics. Well, here is how to craft a failsafe New Year’s Resolution; one that will not sit in the rubble of fries and fraudulence while a student wonders what happened to working out.

 Root of the Resolution:

According to Newsweek and previous studies, more than 1/3 of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. Most fail.

“Psychologists believe our habits become ingrained and they are hard to change,” psychology teacher Debbie Baanders said. “Those connections are difficult to break once they become a habit.”

This is why New Year’s Resolutions are tough to keep, especially if a student sets too high of goals.

“A person could become quickly disappointed when they cannot reach what they say or want to achieve,” said Baanders.

For this reason, students should not constantly visualize ambitions or beat themselves up for not reaching their dreams yet. If a person partakes in this mindset of ‘strive or die’, they will be less motivated and less likely to obtain their aspirations.

New Year’s Resolutions keep failing…so try and try again?

“We all have things we do not like about ourselves or things we want to change about ourselves. The New Year seems to be a new start, a good thing, or a way to try and improve ourselves,” Baanders said.

Boy, does the self-help industry feed this idea to people. It gives them dribbles of hope that, ‘they became a better person, so can you’ and ‘focus, focus, focus on goals’ while in all actuality, this so-called help seems to starve people of any substance.

Columnist Oliver Burkeman also summarizes the problem, revealing that the self-help industry is fueled by not helping. It gives people fleeting mood boosts. When those hopes fades, the easiest way to feel pumped again is to go back to the source: Dr. Oz.

The point is, no matter how much a student could struggle to completely change himself or herself, they are still left with the person they are. Unattainable wants and fickle ideas cannot change a person’s being.

Solution to the Resolution: Hint- Think small

Instead of going, operation: save world, a student should consider operation: just finish one page of math problems.

“Try to stay focused on short-term successes,” Baanders said. “Make realistic goals and reinforce yourself for small triumphs.”

For example, if a student’s goal is to lose ten pounds and they have lost five so far, they should celebrate by buying themselves a shirt or something of that nature.

Burkeman additionally recommends that resolutions be made individually over the course of the year. They should not be huge, monstrous goals at the start, but dispersed, miniscule ones that steadily add contentment and gratification. Maintaining consistent, minor achievements have been shown to make people happier than sporadic, grand ones.

Better yet, students should not wait for New Years to roll around. Give up on the unfeasible revolutions now and find the sometimes-sparse spirit of life today.

As Japanese psychologist, Shoma Morita said, “…Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die.”

So students, do not get hung up on perceived flaws that must be changed. Do not become lost behind grand goals that must take place now. The New Year is not a time to find the ‘new you’, but a time to find little things. Find the small goals, small achievements, small steps that are not a revolution, just a resolution.

Story By Morgan Jenkins