2019: Here we go

As the New Year approaches, millions of people will be making their New Year’s resolution. Although this is an ancient practice, research has been done to find out if these set goals really help individuals succeed in the New Year. (Photo courtesy of Olivia Fontaine.)

We’ve all heard the phrase “new year, new me” before. Everybody strives to make the New Year their best year, but how often does this really happen?

Making New Year’s Resolutions is a worldwide tradition, dating back to the Babylonians. When a new year began, each person would promise the gods they would repay all debt owed and return all items borrowed. Nowadays, New Year’s Resolutions are used to set goals for the approaching New Year. Although most partake in the fun activity of setting new goals, many fall short in completing said items.

Some of the most common annual resolutions include saving money, becoming more physically fit, or sticking to a weight loss diet. In a poll recently taken from 172 Leesville students, 55 voters stated their resolution was to save money, while 48 said there goal was to visit the gym more often.

Students of Leesville represent a vast variety of New Year’s resolutions. “My resolution is to raise, train and bond with my new dog,” said Alex Nordone, a Leesville senior. Nordone’s resolution differs from my personal resolution immensely, which is to just “be happy in 2019.”  

High school students aren’t the only people in our community making New Year’s resolutions. “My goal for 2019 is to save more money and be more mindful of my finances,” said Kelly Cipriani, a local Raleigh resident.

The desire to succeed in the New Year is inspiring, however, the statistics following New Year’s are not so optimistic. According to U.S. News, a large portion of resolution makers find themselves falling short of their goals within the first 30 days. In fact, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by February’s second week.  

All though it’s sad, it is true: the average person will not achieve their New Year’s resolution. But why is this so? According to Psychology Today, there are a few reasons we fail to reach our goals. The first reason is an unclear goal. You can’t achieve something you haven’t clearly defined. The second reason is the overwhelming feeling that is brought on by the resolution. It is difficult to reach a goal that you are afraid of. And finally, the third reason we aren’t reaching our goals is simply the fear of change. Fixation is comforting, change is intimidating.

Some people do not believe that New Year’s resolutions are beneficial to the beginning of each year. These individuals focus on the harm that not reaching a goal can do. “I feel like a lot of people set themselves up for failure. Putting expectations on yourself that you might not live up to can be disappointing,” said Cipriani. On the other hand, some believe that New Year’s resolutions can be helpful, by pushing people to achieve great things.

“If you set your goals within your abilities, then setting resolutions can be a smart way to reach success,” said Nordone.

However we feel about New Year’s resolutions, the truth is blatantly clear: people do not stick to their resolutions. Studies and statistics have backed this up time after time. Although setting goals for the New Year is a great thought, it’s just not realistic to maintain the goals all year long. If people choose to make a New Year’s resolution, my advice is to make it personalized and within your abilities. Start off your new year with a reasonable goals, not an impossible one.


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