New Year, New You?

Nisheeka Simmons, Staff Writer

The year of 2014 has reached its end. It is around this time that people reflect on their actions for the last 365 days and determine whether or not they are satisfied with their lives. New Year’s resolutions appear out of the woodworks, and people begin making promises that are completely out of line with what they have done in the past. Four weeks later, everything is back to normal, and many of these promises are cast by the wayside if not completely forgotten. I myself have partaken in the continuous cycle of plan, fail, and repeat that accompanies the transition from one year to the next.  Along the way I have managed to pinpoint a couple actions that guarantee that this year’s resolution will find itself among your pile of unworthy reflections.

One of the areas of promises made lean towards breaking a bad habit. It ranges from the small, like to stop biting your nails, to the large, like getting rid of that relationship that is more stressful than beneficial.  These things tend to focus on areas of our lives that would be embarrassing to admit to the general public, and so we keep them to ourselves and try to fix them on our own. This is where we go wrong. Though willpower is not useless, it does fluctuate, and is therefore not reliable enough to base your success upon. Without accountability, there is little else holding us to keep our resolution. Now, I am not saying that one should broadcast his or her personal business to the world. Find one friend that you can trust, and embark on your quest together.

Among New Year’s resolutions you will also find those that are meant for the betterment of that person by adding some good behavior that they have slacked on for the past few months, if not their entire life. These resolution-makers usually start out strong, but often end up fizzling out before even realizing that something has gone wrong. The issue that they have is that they jumped headfirst into whatever activity they choose. While this often results in a failure to plan, it more frequently ends in the kind of overzealous activity that leads to boredom, nonchalance, and complacency. In short, a few days full on can be much more harmful than taking it one day at a time.

There is no foolproof way to ensure that one’s goals for the New Year will be achieved without a hitch. All I know for sure is that failure is eminent if you never try in the first place. So, make goals, make plans, grab a friend and jump in. Just be sure not to dive off the deep end if you have no idea how to swim.