Sticking to Your Resolutions

Category:  Opinions
Wednesday, January 27th, 2016 at 9:49 PM

Resolutions don’t have to be a waste of time.

It’s almost the end of January, but less than a month ago, we were toasting friends with glasses of champagne — or sparkling grape juice for those under 21 — and waiting for the clock to strike midnight.

Surely, those first moments of 2016 were exciting. Perhaps you jumped onto the coffee table holding your glass of champagne — or sparkling grape juice — high above your head and announced to everyone in the room that this would be the year you finally worked out at the gym… every day. Maybe, you posted on your favorite social media account, promising to never touch another potato chip again.

Not even a month later, those resolutions may have been forgotten. You missed a day at the gym because you were tired after a long day at work, or you decided the bag of sour cream flavored potato chips in your cupboard looked too enticing to pass up.

Because of this one incident, you decide that the New Year’s resolution wasn’t kept, so you should just skip the gym for the other 350 days of the year and finish the potato chips.

Only 8 percent of people manage to accomplish their New Year’s resolutions, according to Forbes.com. Because of that, New Year’s resolutions can easily be dismissed as a joke. I can’t hide the fact I’m skeptical when hearing about others’ plans to make big life changes.

If you don’t successfully achieve your resolution, perhaps you made it to the gym a few more times than you did last year, but you are left with disappointment; you set a goal and didn’t reach it.

But, maybe it’s not too late, maybe you don’t have to wait to 2017 to make another resolution. You could revise yours.

It might be too difficult to commit to working out every day, but you could set a more realistic goal. You could start by going weekly or bi-weekly. Some weeks you might have more time than others, and on those weeks you can add an extra day.

This year, I resolved to keep better in touch with friends and family, to build up relationships that might have grown weak when the stress of my daily routine gets in the way. There will be days when I will only want to crawl into bed when I finally get back in my dorm, and that’s exactly what I will do when coming across those days. A resolution can change your habits and your life in general, but committing to something too difficult might only lead to failure when you could have avoided abandoning your resolution. So, keep the goal realistic.

And, of course, you can’t give up just because of one rough week.

It hasn’t even been a month yet though. There’s a chance I will be holding a glass of champagne next New Year’s Eve, looking back at 2016 and feeling disappointed that I failed to reach my resolution. Maybe I’ll make a new one, or maybe I will give up on the idea of making them.

But, I hope I am in that 8 percent that is successful because I don’t believe resolutions are a waste of time. 

Tracy Geibel is the executive editor for The Spectator and she can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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