‘New year, new me’ January brings the start of resolutions

By Kate Muska
February 4, 2015

It’s the first month of the year, and everyone knows what that means: new year, new me. We are all familiar with the phrase that plagues our conversations and social media throughout January. A new year means change for people around the world. Whether it’s losing weight, a promise to spend more time with family or getting better grades in school, these commitments are not always easy to keep. The excuses roll in and people get busy, and these resolutions are soon forgotten to the insanity of our lives.

Why is it that these undertakings are so hard to keep? Why is it so easy to compromise them for our daily lives?

“I think people make impossible commitments for New Year’s. New Year’s commitments should be realistic goals that you can actually achieve,” Sarah Wagner, sophomore early childhood K-4 grade education and special education K-8 grade double major, said about making commitments. Wagner herself has made a commitment to go to the gym three times a week and doesn’t find it too difficult.

“I am on the swim team, but once the season ends, I think it will be harder to motivate myself,” she said.

Psychology Today reports that about 50 percent of the population will make a New Year’s resolution, according to researcher John Norcross. Timothy Pychyl, professor of psychology at Carleton University and a Psychology Today blogger, says that people are not ready to change and they use resolutions as forms of motivation. This explains the high failure rate that is often associated with breaking bad habits and forming new ones.

When people make resolutions, Psychology Today says, they expect that that one change is going to affect and change their entire lives. When the change occurs but their lives aren’t ultimately better, people get dismayed and resort back to old habits.

Of course, there has to be some way to make these habits stick. Good Housekeeping writer Karen Asp, gives us some helpful tips to get into and continue our goals in her article “How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions.” Asp says that we should set realistic goals. If we make ridiculous goals, we are only setting ourselves up for failure. Monitor your progress. Not only that, but reward yourself as you go. If you find you’ve slipped up, don’t give up or wait. Get back on the wagon and start again immediately.

As students, it’s important to get perspectives from others our age.

“Have a buddy for a commitment,” Wagner said. “If you are working on studying and so is a friend, work and study together. Make sure that your friends are serious about whatever commitment you make though, or else they may hold you back from achieving your goals.”

Above all else, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to wait for January or a Monday to start a new habit or to start breaking an old one. Every day is a new day, so don’t be afraid to make a positive change in your life today.


Kate Muska

A sophomore communications major with a minor in English, Katie is very dedicated to her writing. Katie is an assistant editor to the Lifestyles section of the Loquitur and is looking to go into the field of publishing.

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