One of my favorite activities during the winter months is to try and create a rough estimate of the number of resolution-droppers between January and February, and then determine if I am correct based on the number of people who slowly dwindle out from our Student Recreation Center.
The concept of a New Year’s resolution has plagued us for years, and we have never created an adequate solution to even the most basic problem they create. Perhaps the largest problem is that resolutions are always created around a time that is typically less stressful – right after our major holidays.
This problem even becomes embedded in our own definition of New Year’s resolutions. As soon as we state our new goals, others know it is only a few weeks before we give up on them entirely. We all ride the euphoric feeling of being done with holiday stresses and then create outlandish goals that can never be fulfilled due to other factors in our lives. These goals end up making us feel good for about three weeks before it all comes crashing down.
Perhaps this is the greatest destructive force in obtaining a new, better you. We form these ambitions while subconsciously knowing we will never complete them, and then we give up on them soon after. Our culture tells us these resolutions are made to be broken, and thus our instinct leads us down a path of apathy, eventually bringing us to ask why we should create them at all.
Rather, we should use these post-holiday vacuums to analyze our lives and create resolutions when our time is completely full of stressors, such as during the middle of the semester. The best time to accurately weigh how well we can accomplish a new lifestyle is when we have three research papers due, not when our biggest concern is Netflix. It is only at this juncture that the idea of losing 10 pounds by the beginning of May doesn’t seem all that impossible anymore.
Of course, if we actually create meaningful resolutions, then I will have to give up my counting game and actually work toward losing some of the holiday weight I gained thanks to pumpkin pie.