By Elizabeth Witek, Staff Writer
“New Year, New Me!” has been plastered on all social media for a few weeks now. With every new year comes New Year’s Resolutions. If you think back to the beginning of 2016, you probably made some of them. Whether the promise is to “lose fifteen pounds” or “fold the laundry every Sunday night,” most people have committed to goals they deem achievable for the new year. While this does work for some, a Washington Post article from Jan. 2015 cited a University of Scranton study that found about 25 percent of Americans give up on their resolutions after less than one week. That’s right: less than one week.
Especially in today’s society, there is a need for instant gratification. With New Year’s Resolutions, however, one must accept that gratification is not instantaneous but must be achieved over a long period of time: one year, 12 months, 365 days. This prolonged time makes it difficult to stay motivated to achieve a single goal since even the most focused individuals are apt to slip up at least a few times over a long year. These slips inevitably lead to disappointment in oneself and eventually to completely abandonment of the resolution due to continued frustration.
Another problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that they are often unrealistic or too drastic, resulting in more frustration and almost immediate failure. Once someone sees that they cannot achieve their goals, they become discouraged and quickly give up.
Rather than committing to generic and unrealistic long-term resolutions that will most likely be forgotten by month two or three of the New Year, you should approach the new year with the pledge to learn new things and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. By doing so, when the calendar flips again next January 1, you can reflect back on the year and see how much you have actually accomplished instead of remembering those failed resolutions.