Op/Ed: New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year when people are asking you “what is your New Year’s resolution?” and along with this question, businesses (especially those in the business of altering your appearance/intellect/hobbies) are cashing in on advertisements of a similar nature.

Take, for instance, the Healthy Living Centre. Lately they’ve been running an ad in the Brandon Sun which encourages readers to “Shape your year with resolve.” A likely reason for this, and other similar advertisements from similar businesses, is because many people make it their New Year’s resolution to work out more, or to lose weight, or get in shape. I know in past years I, myself, have been guilty of this resolution. Before you take this message the wrong way, I’m not at all critiquing the choice to live a healthier lifestyle. I do however, question why everyone waits until January 1st to decide to make this change. If this is a change that you really want to make in your life, then go ahead and start on February 6th, or June 20th, or even December 10th. It doesn’t matter when you start, the important thing is that you stick to your goals with conviction.

Something else that I notice about my own and others’ New Year’s resolutions is that they never stick. I cannot think of any resolution I’ve made that I have stuck with for an entire 365 days; I’m even hard pressed to recall a resolution I’ve made that lasted beyond March. Making a resolution at any time of the year is great, and I fully encourage you to take this time to think of an aspect of your life that you would like to improve, but making a resolution that you will forget or lose steam with will do you little benefit in the long-term future. Try something manageable, like trying not to skip class unless you have a valid reason (your bed might be comfy, but that is not a reason to not get your butt out of bed for class), or maybe you could resolve to manage your stress better (colouring books are pretty popular right now and really help with this).

Keeping all of this in mind, I am choosing not to make a resolution this year, and this is probably the first year that I have made that choice. My reasoning is that I know I won’t stick to a resolution that will drastically change my life. Instead, I’m going to continue to focus on making myself a happier, healthier person one day at a time with no specific goal in mind other than self-improvement. If you’re planning on making a resolution, don’t let me talk you out of it. In fact, if you are resolving to do something in 2017, I challenge you to stick with it for the whole year (or as much of it as you can manage). Be strong in your conviction.

Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 16, January 4, 2017.