The new year has begun, and time is already ticking. People put pen to paper as they list resolutions they want to accomplish before the year’s end. I too, am one of these people, creating a laundry list of goals, but I can’t help but feel a strong sense of deja vu. Everything’s the same: the urgent optimism, the lengthy lists and, worst of all, the resolutions. Realizing this, I had to ask: how many resolutions did I accomplish last year?
For me, the answer misses the goal. Usually, New Year’s Eve rolls in, and I’m on a holiday high. I can’t help but be starry-eyed and consider the opportunities riddling the next 365 days. Promise upon promise is made: become more fit, catch up on my reading and make more money, all by the end of the year. Eventually, these promises degrade into problems: daily jog routines run into a wall, Facebook keeps my face out of books and I’m a college student, so no money there. Months march on, and nothing gets done. Frankly, I soon consider the year a fail.
Why do some of my – and perhaps yours as well – resolutions fall by the wayside once the year starts rolling?
How we treat our resolutions breeds their irresolution. We’ve trapped ourselves into thinking that everything we do falls along a strict timeline: to accomplish goal A is to do X, Y and Z by times one, two and three, exclusively. This idea isn’t wholly bad; when you have an assignment due soon, a strict timeline is needed. The same applies to anything physical that has to be done by a certain time. Changing intangible things, however, cannot be restricted to a timeline. People often resolve to be healthier or smarter with decisions – tasks linked to improving self-image. Self-image isn’t an assignment that can be started and completed. It’s something developed and altered throughout our lives. Confining this process to 365 days is like taking the stress of a lifetime and stuffing it into a year. We simply can’t handle that. If you thought finals week was bad, try a “finals” year.
Resolutions, then, need to be prolonged goals, rather than items on a timely list. Change can happen at any time. Didn’t reach your goal from a year ago? Not a problem. Keep working at it. The time between who you are now and who you wish to be is limitless.
Sherman Hewitt is an undeclared freshman.