New Year’s Resolutions...Still in effect?
Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 00:01
Eat healthy. Get in shape. Exercise more. Quit smoking.
These are just a few of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions that millions of people commit to each time we ring in a new year. Personally, I’ve made only two new year’s resolutions in my entire life. The first was for the year 2008, and it was to stop drinking carbonated drinks. My best friend also decided to make this her resolution, which made it easier for me to keep it. When we would go out to eat, she would order a water or sweet tea, and I would order the same. When we would go to the grocery store with our moms, she would get bottled water for her lunch, and I would do the same.
I kept this resolution for five years. Needless to say, I’m proud. Kelli-Anne Terrell, a sophomore accounting major, also cut out soft drinks for her 2012 new year’s resolution.
“I just made my mind up. It was hard for the first few months, and I had to take every temptation one at a time, but after a couple of months, my motivation was that I don’t want the sacrifices I’ve already made to go to waste by blowing it now.”
For 2013, Kelli-Anne has made a new goal.
“This year I made the resolution to run 1000 miles in one year,” Terrell said, “I’ve been working hard at it these first few weeks.”
Some people are not so motivated or serious about their resolutions, though. After asking on Facebook about why people don’t keep their resolutions, I received a few comical responses like “change is too hard” and “food tastes good” and as funny as these comments are, they’re true.
According to Forbes, by Jan. 19, 2012 half of the population gave up or forgot about their New Year’s resolutions. It usually is because a person sets too high of a goal or there is no one to hold them accountable if they slip up. The people who choose to quit smoking, for instance, may have a hard time because all their friends smoke, so they are tempted and have no support when it comes to quitting.
When students make the resolution to eat healthy, they might find it hard to stick to when all their friends are going to Taco Bell at 1 a.m., or when they’re living on a college budget. Trust me on that one. I know from personal experience.
Remember when I said I had two new year’s resolutions? Well, the second was for the year 2012. After losing one of my best friends and realizing I didn’t have many pictures with him, I decided to take a picture everyday for a whole year to document that day. I wanted to make sure I captured every special moment, and not so special moment, and I did. It was easy for me to keep to this one as well because I love taking pictures, and I had friends who held me accountable if I was late or slipping up. I felt the need to keep these people entertained. I think that’s the secret to new year’s resolutions. When other people notice that you’re losing weight, getting into shape or even just uploading a picture everyday – you feel better about your resolution and maybe more inclined to stay with it.
It’s also important to have a strong support system. If your friends and family stick behind you and encourage you to meet your goals, you’re more likely to meet them to make your friends and family proud.
Some advice? Don’t set your sights too high. Instead of making the resolution to lose 50 pounds by summer, just make it to lose 50 pounds. Instead of saying “no fast food all year,” make it a gradual thing, such as only eating fast food once a week. By doing this, you’re more likely to stick to your resolutions because they no longer seem impossible.
“For my resolution to run 1000 miles, I have a weekly quota to meet so it’s easier to manage such a big number,” Terrell said. “I’m also keeping a blog where I write about every run and how I am doing. It kind of keeps me accountable.”
Keeping a journal or a blog is great way to track your progress of your resolutions. If you are tempted to give into that fast food craving or smoke break, you can look at your journal and see how far you’ve come, which might convince you to stick to your resolutions.
Last, but not least, realize a new year’s resolution doesn’t have to be… well, a new year’s resolution. Since they’re called new year’s resolutions, many people slip up and then give up. Just because you vow to eat healthy on Jan. 1, but on Jan. 15, eat a slice of your grandma’s delicious apple pie doesn’t mean you can’t keep to your resolution. Starting something at the beginning of the year seems like you’re turning over a new leaf or starting with a clean slate, but remember, you can make a resolution at any point in your life – it does not have to be Jan. 1 of each new year. Good luck to all of you who have resolutions this year and may the odds be ever in your favor.