Harvard-Westlake High School

New Year’s resolutions

As the New Year begins, the thought of the resolutions and goals we would like to achieve slowly dawns upon us. This has become more of a tradition and an activity rather than a list of goals that we plan to achieve throughout the year. Amidst the joy of the New Year, there is a serious aftermath that results from resolutions.  

New Year’s resolutions are a great way to start off the year. If there were a detrimental event that occurred the year before, resolutions can allow for forgetting the past, clean the slate, and start off fresh. The act of setting goals is quite beneficial to your health, and it gives a sense of pride and motivation.

Although New Year’s resolutions are fun to make and are aimed towards the right intentions, they don’t always end up being helpful.

On the other hand, there is a deeper consequence that these resolutions might bring. Every resolution that we write down, or plan to do, is a statement, an aspiration that we plan to meet. As most resolutions go, we normally don’t end up carrying them out. Though we might not realize, there is a subconscious toll on our minds of not being able to carry out the goals we have made. The determination that we had to fuel our resolutions slowly dies out. By the end of the year, we think to ourselves, “What have I accomplished?” The feelings that could potentially take place by making resolutions are guilt, embarrassment and humiliation. Each year, the cycle comes around once again. We end the year with unfavorable emotions and use the new year as a scapegoat to utilize as an excuse to start clean.

Although there is nothing wrong with wanting to start fresh, we shouldn’t have to put ourselves through the vicious cycle of emotions that takes place during the end and start of a year. What I propose is to come up with a plan to follow throughout the course of the year instead of just listing a goal. This allows for a definite course of action and a concrete plan that can be followed. For example, the year’s goal could be to get all A’s next semester. Instead of making this the sole objective, this could be modified to, “Don’t procrastinate, meet with my teachers, and finish my homework during my free time.”

With the end of first semester and the beginning of the second semester, this is a chance to put this new plan into place. Students who didn’t receive the grades they wanted, or wish that they could have performed better in some aspect of last semester could use this system to have a better semester. At the end of the year, the goal will have been reached through a step-by-step plan. Furthermore, the little goals that compose the overarching plan for the year will have been completed too. Now, with a sense of accomplishment, the year will end with feelings of success and confidence. Listing goals in this manner will undoubtedly allow for the completion of the goals, and create a better psychological environment.