Finding solutions to help keep resolutions

The opportunity for a fresh start creates excitement on New Year’s Day.

By Megan Blauvelt

Year after year, one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions made at the stroke of midnight is to become more healthy and positive. However, three days into February many people have already forgotten the promise they seemed so committed to on Jan. 1.

Based on a 2002 study by time management experts at the FranklinCovey Company, the major New Year’s resolution was to lose weight. Fast forward 10 years and one will find that a similar goal is still the most popular, though the wording has changed to “becoming more physically fit.”

“I just want to stay physically fit,” said junior Travis Hastings. “I want to go to the gym more this year, and so far I’m going six days a week.”

There is no question that the public is more aware of taking care of the body. The term “physically fit” has a more achievable ring and posotive connotations opposed to “weight loss.” Being physically fit encourages year-round consistency, whereas losing weight may mean that a person will find his or her way back to unhealthy habits after the desired weight has been lost.

Regardless of the wording, most people find it hard to stay on track after just a few days. It is easy to say, but far more difficult to stick to. FranklinCovey’s survey also showed that 35 percent of people give up on their resolution before January is over.

Despite the odds being against them, some students are finding it easier to stay on track because of exercise opportunities offered in the Student Recreation Center.

Freshman Jade Averi has taken an interest in the Zumba and hip-hop classes.

“Dance is a way to work out, but since I enjoy it, it’s less of a chore,” she said.

Averi also emphasized the importance of having a work out buddy.

“Some days I don’t feel motivated at all, but since I have [Danielle Gittleman] beside me, she pushes me,” she said. “We’re each other’s support basically. If [she] didn’t go, I wouldn’t even be doing this.”

Of course not everyone has the desire to stay physically fit. Others feel good mental health should be the most important.

“I want to be more positive,” said freshman Marci Rubin.

According to Rubin, she is often negative and hard on herself, which she hopes to change in the coming year.

“I haven’t quite gotten there yet, but I’m working on it,” she said.

For those who are continuing to put an effort into resolving themselves, they make up the two-thirds who have kept the idea of a New Year’s resolution alive past the month of January.

The reason for this statistic may be a result of the pressure people feel to make a resolution because “everyone else is making one.” However, keeping a resolution will not matter to one’s peers. Resolutions appear to last the longest when they come from a personal goal to change for the better.

Another FranklinCovey survey revealed that only a total of 23 percent end up keeping their resolution until the next New Year’s celebration. Some factors that can derail a person from focusing on his or her original goal include trying to balance a social life, good grades and sleep. No matter what that original goal is, though, it is no secret that successful resolutions take a conscious effort for the 365 days — or 366 days in this year’s case — following the ball drop.

The likelihood of a resolution lasting the whole year through highly depends on the person who has chosen it. Committing to a realistic goal, balancing time and finding someone to keep you honest in your endeavors can help the new habit become a permanent one.

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