Leah Kiernozek, Chattanooga, Tenn. — Lose weight. Eat healthier. Volunteer. Become more involved in campus activities. Make better grades. Attend every class. These are some of the most common goals students tend to set for themselves when a new year rolls around. As a society, the beginning of a new year marks the perfect time to turn over a new leaf and try to better the way we live.
In previous years, I’ve always been so pumped to set new goals for myself. I’ll start up a workout routine and buy a bunch of healthy food and start feeling great about myself.
Once everyone returns from Christmas break, the ARC becomes overpopulated with newly dedicated gym-goers and more and more students begin to venture over to the salad bar in Crossroads.
But then, by the time February arrives, the amount of students seen at the ARC lessens as each day goes by. Students start to mold back into their previous routines and the determination to carry out the personal goals for the new year starts to diminish.
So why is it such a challenge to commit to change? Especially when it is positive change?
At the start of 2014, I decided to look into how many people still set goals for themselves at the beginning of each year and how many of those same people actually stick to their new year’s resolutions.
Statistics shown on Statistic Brain’s website convey that around 45 percent of Americans make the decision to set resolutions at the beginning of the year. By the end of the first week, 15 percent of those people have already given up maintaining their resolutions and only 46 percent make it six months before throwing in the towel.
Surprisingly, only 8 percent of people successfully carry out those goals by the end of the year and sadly, I always find myself amongst the 92 percent that make the decision to try again at the start of the next year.
Instead of continuing the reoccurring habit of setting over-the-top life-changing goals, this year I decided to focus on a realistic goal that is a little less drastic. My 2014 resolution is to focus on the ‘happy’ part of ‘Happy New Year’ and to look at the glass half full.
So, happy new year and cheers to optimism.