Beyond the new year: making resolutions last

Crystal Branden

We all know the tradition of making resolutions for the New Year. Aspirations and goals flood our newsfeeds, and everyone feels the need to share what they want to achieve.

Most of our resolutions are based on what we would like to happen during the New Year, but common resolutions like losing weight, getting more sleep or balancing your checkbook often get either forgotten or abandoned. Resolutions have a low survival rate, and more often than not, they make you upset when you inevitably fail to meet them. So why continue?

It is thought that New Year’s resolutions first became popular among the ancient Babylonians. They were often promises to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot. The Babylonians would promise things similar to what we resolve to do today. For example, they would promise to be kind to those around them, vow to return borrowed equipment, or to pay their dues.

Nowadays we usually aren’t resolving to please gods, but more commonly make resolutions for ourselves. Though, I still question why we continue to set goals if we often do not meet them

Sure, it is in our human nature to hope, and although that is great, our resolutions should not be made just because a new year is beginning.

We are a society that pushes each other to keep moving forward, and goals are already hard enough to meet as it is. Goals take a lot of determination to not only follow through, but to remain positive about meeting as well.

Though the New Year does bring about a sense of wanting a change or a take-charge attitude, commonly around the end of the first month that attitude starts to wane.

If you really want to make a change in your life, it should be for yourself – not just because it’s the new year. Anything worth doing is done because it is seriously wanted. If you are truly intent about meeting a goal, lacking motivation can still take away from your ability to achieve it.

The traditional New Year’s resolutions are a common facet of our society. With many resolutions being forgotten or completely given up, continuing to make these resolutions does not seem to make sense. Although we are people of hopes and dreams, resolutions tend to put us down instead of enlightening us.

So, instead of making a resolution that won’t be met, why not focus on something you have always wanted to do? Don’t promise yourself you will do it for certain, because that just creates more pressure.

Embrace life and do something for yourself. If you are passionate enough about it, you can reach your goals whether it’s Jan. 1 or Aug. 2.

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