By Ellie Schuckman
Every year come December, wish lists are often made of goals to accomplish for the following year. People make promises to “do better” and “be better,” while telling themselves when the new year hits that it’s game on.
The clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1 and the celebrations ring on. Meanwhile, hopeful individuals know that tomorrow starts the change. No more late night snacks, no more binge watching television shows and promises to study harder.
January starts out pretty well, with better eating habits and a regular sleep schedule. Gyms are busier than usual, and when the second semester begins, grades seem to be OK.
Then hits February.
After an entire month of sticking to ambition, the plan seems to be falling apart. Stomachs growl at midnight, beds seem to be inescapable, Netflix is only a click away and soon enough the fragile thoughts of “next semester will be better” creep in.
What makes sticking to those New Year’s resolutions so incredibly hard?
According to Forbes.com, just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals, compared to the estimated 40 percent of Americans who make them.
“I think people lack the money, motivation and time to follow through with their New Year’s resolutions,” freshman urban elementary education and English double major Kailey Stangle said.
It is astonishing that every year the same pattern occurs
— make a promise, try the promise, break the promise, try again next year.
Individuals are often so consumed with the idea of a fresh start that when the opportunity comes for one, they fail to act.
People are often bound by routine and suddenly disrupting what had become “normal” proves overbearing. Some individuals simply lack the mindset to make a permanent change, and easily slip back into bad habits.
“My New Year’s resolution was to keep my room clean, but I failed the first day I got back,” freshman deaf education and history double major Olivia Colomier said.
By walking around campus, or even down the halls in the dorms, students are constantly heard saying “tomorrow.” Whether it’d be putting off writing that paper or running on the loop, goals set at the start of the year never seem to make it to the end.
“Tomorrow” has turned into “one day.”
Naturally, the stresses of performing well day after day call for a break every once in awhile, but when a day off becomes a week, a week often turns into more. Watching just one more episode of “Friends” is almost as impossible as eating just one more Pringle.
Changing bad habits takes time, and stopping anything cold-turkey is most often arduous. Consider a light snack a few hours after dinner instead of at midnight. Set a goal to exercise three days a week so it is not too excessive. Study for 15 minutes every few hours instead of forcing yourself to sit down for a full 60 minutes.
Promises made to oneself cannot work unless that individual is willing to commit to their decisions fully. However, drastic changes almost always fail to deliver positive results.
Simple, gradual differences may just be the key to keeping those promises.