Resolutions: not a contract

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On New Year’s Eve, the question I hear most often from my family is, “So, what is your New Year’s resolution this year?” Most of the time, I give my family a look that says, “Does it really look like I have time to resolve something in my life?”

I swore off soda and started working out. At first I worked out every other day, then every day. I was doing great, but then the cravings started. The Coca-Cola in the fridge would look at me and draw me in, despite my attempts to ignore its power. Only two weeks into my resolution, and I had consumed a vast amount of soda, wasn’t really watching what I was eating, and my workouts had become sparse or non-existent.

According to Howard Bennett’s article “Why do we make New Year’s Resolutions,” on washingtonpost.com, “The tradition of making New Year’s resolutions began during the reign of Caesar. At the time, New Year’s resolutions were of a moral nature, such as being kind to others.”

Being kind to others may have been the top trending resolution in 44 B.C., but today it is not. According to the University of Scranton Journal of Clinical Psychology article, “New Year’s Resolution Statistics,” found on statisticbrain.com, the top three resolutions for 2014 were, “Number one to lose weight, number two getting organized and number three to spend less and save more money.”

According to the article, it  is estimated that 45 percent of American adults make resolutions, but only 8 percent successfully keep their resolutions until the end of the year. To make matters worse, the article also talks about how 75 percent of resolutions are kept through the first week, but only 46 percent are kept throughout most of the year.

With these statistics, it is easy to see why I think making New Year’s resolutions is  a silly tradition altogether. Even if we do make a resolution, the odds of us keeping and sticking to a plan are stacked against us. Something will always come up that is more important, and soon enough our resolution will be tossed to the side.

For me, coming back to school really was what hindered my resolution. The luxury of being at home and having my own workout machine to use was something I really got use to.

However, my workout schedule depleted to nothingness once school started back up. I am a busy person in general. I take enough credit hours to keep me busy, all while trying to balance a job, my social life and my sleep schedule. Besides, working out at school meant working out in front of  people, which is terrifying.

I know it sounds like I’m just making excuses, and frankly, I am. Making resolutions is just another thing I need to keep track of.

New Year’s Resolutions should have a new name. Perhaps calling it “New Year’s Indecisions” or “New Year’s Instabilities,” to make it seem more achievable to some. Those names will take the pressure of resolving something disappear and will not give people anxiety about whether or not their issue is resolved. Either way, on the next New Year’s Eve, when my family asks me what my resolutions are going to be, I will proudly correct them and say, “Don’t you mean my New Year’s Indecisions?”

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