School of Thought; New Year’s resolutions

As the holiday season has drawn to a close, the New Year begins to unfold. As we began to pack away the Christmas lights and menorahs, we began to feel the pressure of formulating a New Year’s resolution. Society tells us that each year, between the days of Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, we are expected to decide what we are going to alter in the upcoming year. Does society acknowledge how difficult this is? Why are we expected to decide in the matter of hours how we are going to miraculously become different people?

Many New Year resolutions seem to be, well, impossible to actually complete. Many people I know, including myself, make New Year resolutions that we know we will never actually go through with. Last year I remember telling myself, “I’m going to exercise every day.” Did I do that? No. As a matter or fact, I completely forgot about my resolution five minutes after I formulated it.

The problem seems to be that we just simply go through the motions of making resolutions, with no plans to complete them. After doing a little research, I found a list of the “Top 10 Commonly Broken New Year Resolutions” from Time magazine. Apparently, in 2012, many of us wanted to “Be less stressed.” How is it possible for us to simply say to ourselves, “I’m too stressed. I’m not going to be this year.” If we want to actually be less stressed in the New Year, don’t we need to actually fix what we are stressed about? If we aren’t changing anything about our daily routine, yet claiming to change a whole area of our lives, how do we expect it to work?

Another resolution that is commonly broken appears to be “Get out of debt.” Okay, mission accomplished! Maybe the resolution should be “Work more hours” or “buy less unnecessary pants” or something a little more manageable than simply, “get out of debt.”

I can’t help but assume that these resolutions seem unreasonable simply because the majority of us don’t really focus on our resolutions past the end of January. It almost seems that since society tells us, “Quick, make up a line to tell people!” we do, only to avoid the sheer embarrassment of others finding out that in fact, you are resolution-less.

Perhaps for this upcoming year, we should make a change. Perhaps, society should have a different set of standards for New Year resolutions. Instead of the notion of extraordinary resolutions that we will never live up to, people should make simple little changes in their day-to-day life. We need to take a little time, think of a tangible resolution that means something to us, and make the change.

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