Giving (Late) New Years Resolutions A Shot

(source: http://www.chicagonow.com/cheaper-than-therapy/files/2013/01/new-years-resolutions)

(source: http://www.chicagonow.com/cheaper-than-therapy/files/2013/01/new-years-resolutions)

Emma Foster, Co Editor-In-Chief

This year, I resolved to run for at least 30 minutes every day. I’ve been on and off the fitness bandwagon for years, and this year I was going to stay on. Of course, that requires getting on the wagon in the first place.

It was New Year’s day and I had all my running clothes out and ready to go the night before. I planned to wake up early and go on a light jog. That didn’t happen that day. Or the next. Or the next. The next thing I knew, school was starting up again and I was still wearing my slippers.

I hear similar stories all the time. 45% of Americans usually make New Years resolutions, but only 8% of these people are successful in achieving these resolutions. That’s only about 500 thousand out of 7 million people who keep their goals throughout the year. What’s worse is that this isn’t surprising. There’s something daunting about refocusing one’s life, and ambiguous goals like “getting organized” or “becoming fit” often seem unachievable.

It’s sad that so many people who care about themselves enough to improve their life give up so easily. New Years is one of those rare times that one can look back on the past year and see how your soul has been and why. Maybe you’re feeling insecure about your health. Maybe you can’t stand the feeling of guilt when you splurge on a pair of (suuuper cute) heels when you’re supposed to be saving for college. Maybe the clutter in your room is starting to climb up the walls. One may think about these things momentarily throughout the year, but on New Years day people around the world notice these things and decide to fix them.

This is hard. Breaking bad habits is a pain, anyone could tell you that. However, making resolutions is a sign that we love ourselves enough to change the things that aren’t the best they can be. Let’s give it a good shot. Why not make your life better? There’s a plethora of internet articles dedicated to helping one keep New Year’s resolutions throughout the year, and plenty of motivational pictures on Pinterest and Tumblr to get started. Try making your resolutions specific and achievable, like determining how much money you want to save and by when. Let people know about your resolutions, so that you can be held accountable.

There’s really no reason not to make a resolution. We have the power to shut up that nagging voice in our head that’s telling us we can’t do it. If you give up before you start, however, and resolve to eat more Cheetos or get worse grades, that little voice is gaining control. Don’t let them win! It’s not a matter of making a goal that’s reachable, it’s about trying your best. Even if you don’t end up finishing what you started, having the humility to be aware of what you can do better makes all the difference.

If you’re going to make a change, make it. However, I’m not going give up because it’s not quite the New Year’s season anymore. January 1st is as good as any day for me to pick up my running shoes. I know I can take that first step, it’s mostly a matter of if I respect myself enough to do so.