Last updateWed, 13 Dec 2017 8am


Three...Two...One...Happy New Year!

new year resolutions“I’m going to get back in shape.” “I’m going to quit smoking.” “ I am going to do more for the community.” These phrases seem to be part of every conversation from December 26 up until after New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s resolutions seem to have become a cultural norm during the holidays, but at the same time people have become so desensitized that there is really no true desire behind these self improvements for the New Year.

If we make these empty promises every year that never get seen through, a question comes to mind, why?

Let’s face it, most of us who decide to take on a New Year’s resolution and end up forgetting about it, or give up by the time Valentine’s Day rolls around. So why bother if we are not going to fully commit? Advertising has a part in it.

Usually around the holiday season, there are tons of commercials that offer great deals on gym memberships, or support groups to help you quit smoking. Even restaurants and other vendors create drinks, food, and hold retail sales that will “help you start off New Year resolution right.”

Having all these tools for self- improvement advertising 24/7, it is hard not to get swept up in the spirit of improving for the New Year. If you have set a resolution for 2012, that is fine, but there are a few things you may want to think about before you start hitting the gym and signing up for every club that seems appealing.

First, why are you choosing this commitment? Many people choose resolutions like losing weight, community service, or being a better person because they are the most common. Just because others are choosing a certain resolution does not mean it is the best for you.

It should be something that you are doing for you. If you really want to make the best of it, try sitting down and making a list of goals you want for the year and from there you can make the best goals for yourself. If it is something you really want it will be a lot easier to be committed.

Do not be afraid to share your resolution either. Who knows, maybe a friend or group of friends has the same idea. It will make it easier to succeed if you have a support system.

Second, is it realistic? Obviously the reason we choose New Year resolutions is to do something positive, but we can choose goals that can be out of reach. Trying to reach such a big goal so quickly can backfire.

For example instead of saying “I’m getting straight A’s for the semester” (not that it is not possible), a better way might be “I’m going to increase my study time by an hour” or “I’m going to dedicate one to two hours every weekend at the library.” By simplifying a larger goal into a smaller solid idea, it stops you from putting more pressure on yourself.

Another perfect example of an unrealistic resolution is committing yourself to getting back into shape/exercising more. They sit there looking miserably at their salads, or are on the verge of passing out after being on the treadmill for over an hour trying to lose those 15 pounds, just to end up at McDonalds at 2:00 am two weeks later. There are easier ways to go about this.

Taking small steps is a lot more effective. Taking a different route by going to the gym once a week can be less stressful, and all around healthier.

Smaller steps will give you time to see if your goal is something that you really want to do, and if you want to increase you’re commitment. Sometimes we are focused on reaching for the stars, that we can miss out on other things or lose sight of what we are really trying to do in the long run.

Finally, how far are you willing to commit? This a big issue when it comes to making New Year’s resolutions and goals in general. Some people have no problem dedicating their time to one or more tasks. However, there are the rest of us that may have problems with seeing things through.

I myself have trouble finishing projects I start. If you have a fear of commitment, or just do not have a lot of extra time on your hands, have no fear. Resolutions are not signed in blood. They can be short term and they do not have to necessarily be about you.

They can be little things like donating a few hours to an animal shelter or a soup kitchen. There is no reason to feel defeated if you decide if a commitment does not work out, just try something new until you find the right thing.

Even if you decide not to take on a resolution, that can be a resolution in itself and a joke to you and your friends.

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The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151