By Katie Holland
Wikipedia defines a new year’s resolution as “a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous.” Resolutions are an integral part of starting a new year, a reminder that there is always time and room for change and improvement.
“(My resolutions) are the same thing (every year),” said Susan Garrett, a nurse from Shiloh, Ga. “Lose weight, eat healthier.” And that works for her, she said.
However, not everyone is dedicated to the resolutions they make. So much so that they stop making resolutions all together.
Some just forget, while others find the resolutions they make are too difficult to implement. There’s a lot of pressure to announce at the beginning of the year how you plan to change, without taking into account all the changes you’ve made throughout the year unannounced.
A new year’s resolution is just another goal for yourself, but given the celebratory nature of New Year’s, some people set the goal so high that they fail. The Web site “Aristotle: You Personal Mentor,” says to make S.M.A.R.T. resolutions. If your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable by you, Realistic and Time-framed, they will have a better chance of success.
One woman shopping at Columbus Park Crossing said she is quite spiritual and she makes plans to better herself throughout the year, leaving behind the pressure of changing when the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31. It also makes for smaller, more manageable goals.
This year, there are larger economic and social issues that individuals cannot resolve away. For these, they turn to hope. Jennifer Hall and Angela Lagrange, both 28 and residents of Columbus, said they hoped gas prices would stay low and taxes would decrease. “Just lower everything!” said Hall.
But Hall and Lagrange know that hope doesn’t stand in for personal responsibility and making goals to better one’s self.
They said they always break their resolutions of weight loss, but not this year. Citing losing weight, celibacy and finding better jobs, the women are determined to make 2009 their year of resolution success.
Some people call them resolutions and make them once a year, some people consider it a year-round activity. Whether or not it’s realized, people make promises to themselves constantly. Sometimes they keep those promises. And sometimes they don’t.
When I started thinking about what my resolution would be this year, I thought of the changes I made in the last year that did not coincide with the changing calendar. When I quit smoking, I didn’t decide to do it when the ball dropped in Times Square, I did it when I knew I would and could succeed.
This year, though, I think I’ll embrace the tradition. I resolve to quit torturing my hair — no more dyeing, drying and straightening. I’m going to stick to it, too.
And if I don’t, well, there’s always next year.