By LAURA SANCHEZ, Opinions Editor
Ah, those New Year’s resolutions. I have a love/hate type of thing with them. It starts out so great – yes, I’m going to work out consistently! I’m going to eat healthier! I’m going to drink water instead of pop! For the most part, these resolutions start dwindling down by February. By March, the word ‘resolution’ is a thing of the past. We don’t have people talking about resolutions in May or June, and they forget about them by October. People usually remember them as the last days of the year are approaching, that end-of-the-year reminder of everything that we didn’t manage to accomplish. So why does this happen? Why do we let these resolutions slip away, unnoticed in our busy lives?
I guess it is because we have busy lives that they slip away. We like easy and safe and simple – and resolutions are everything but that – that’s why we make these goals in the first place. At first, it seems so easy to say that you’re going to work out five times a week, but when you factor in schoolwork and work and a social life and sleep, how easy is it to drag your lazy self to the gym? Little by little, you lose your motivation, and it’s easy of fall off the bandwagon, and pretty soon, it’s Dec. 31, and you’re feeling half angry and half sad for yourself.
But aren’t resolutions also the best? Just the thought of having something binding, something to hold you accountable for your actions is so scaring and exciting at the same time. That’s what keeps me motivated in the long run. Take last year. I made a goal of reading 55 books in 2014. All year, all I could think about was finishing this challenge. I even wrote an article about reading these books for a Michigan Journal issue last year, so I could be held accountable for my actions. Every time I caught myself doing something else in my free time, like watching YouTube videos or staring aimlessly at my ceiling, I wanted to kick myself for not being productive with my reading. I managed to read about 35 books total – which was a great accomplishment in itself, but I can’t help feeling gutted that I couldn’t read the entire 55 I set out to read in the first place. On the other hand, I also felt that I was only reading the books so I could say that I had reached my goal. While I love reading, sometimes it felt like a chore to read these books.
So are resolutions really helpful? Do we reach our goals in order to the greater good, for our betterment, health, and safety? Or do we reach these goals, because it makes us feel better about ourselves when we manage to accomplish goals? Whatever it is, it’s up to us to either keep up with them or know our limits. Resolutions: can’t live with them, can’t live without them.