By Shawna O’Neal, Chattanooga, TN—It’s that time again. It seems like everyone has some sort of New Year’s resolution that they plan to accomplish before

Contributed Photo by Sean Jones
No Pain, No Gain: Students try to find a space to get a workout in at the ARC. New Year’s resolutions to get back in the gym are a big factor in the rise in student traffic in the weight room early on in the spring semester.

next year.

Resolutions should be something meaningful that will improve your life, and I’m a firm believer that everyone should have a New Year’s resolution.

It does not have to be anything extreme—even the small resolutions count. If you pick a good one, at the end of the year you will have bettered yourself. And, really, isn’t that the whole purpose behind the concept?

In personal experience, I have learned that the key to New Year’s resolutions is to not set your sights too high and promise yourself something you know that you won’t be able to accomplish.

I think that is why  a lot of people start out the year with a bang, but then fizzle out as the weeks go on.

The resolution that is most commonly given up on is going to the gym, working out or getting in shape.

That is one that gets under my skin—that so many people say that they are going to start to work out and then only keep it up for maybe a month.

What does that say about you? You set your mind out to do something and give up not even a third of the way through, if that.

It shows a lack of will power and motivation. If you are one of those people who have made the “get in shape” resolution and stuck to it, more power to you.

According to, 75 percent of those who made a New Year’s resolution in 2012 maintained their resolution through the first week. But only 46 percent made it through six months, the numbers dropping throughout the first half of the year.

Yes, sticking to a promise that you made yourself is difficult. I’m not arguing that at all.

I have struggled with a couple New Year’s resolutions and contemplated giving up, but then reminded myself why I chose it.

Now I am glad that I didn’t give up.

Not only did it make me a better person, but I proved to myself that I could do anything that I set my mind to, which is incredibly rewarding in the end.

Another thing I would like to address concerning New Year’s resolutions is that I know a lot of people only think about resolutions as giving up something for the year.

Resolutions do not always have to be seen in a negative light.

Yes, I have given up things for the year, but as the years passed, I realized that I can make a promise to myself to add positive things in my life as a resolution.

For example, my New Year’s resolution for 2013 is to write down one good thing that has happened every day. That way next year, I can read over and be reminded all of the great things that happened to me in 2013.

I think making a New Year’s resolution is important and more people should be involved. Everyone has room to improve themselves in some form or fashion.

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