Columnist explores the origins behind New Year’s resolutions and why they fail

By Katie Zhao, ’19

One of my New Year’s resolutions was, ironically, to not write about New Year’s resolutions in the Arlingtonian because it’s such an overdone topic.

Here I am, though, and I’m not alone.

According to U.S. News, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. That’s when the novelty of your decision really wears off. It might be a combination of the back-to-school grind and dreary winter days, or because the friends and relatives you made your resolutions with have dropped out by now. Either way, the drive to improve yourself disappears. How can one continue despite the overwhelming pressure to call it quits?

While you can’t change the beautiful Ohio weather or your relatives quitting, you can change how you view your journey.

Whether you’ve relapsed or you’re just getting in on the resolution-making trend, all good plans require organization. A schedule or checklist works wonders, and a planner keeps everything in one place to prevent diversions. Online or paper, whatever works best for you. The key is to keep it updated.

The above tips may work if you’re very self-motivated, but you may need outside influence to adhere to your resolution. If you and a friend share the same New Year’s resolution, why not engage in some healthy competition? Make goals together and check progress. You might be more motivated if someone else is in it with you.

Last but not least, try accomplishing a little every day. It doesn’t have to be a lot, because as long as you believe your goal is reachable, you’ll continue striving. Life is composed of small victories, after all.

At the end of the day, look back and give yourself some praise. You’ve (hopefully) stuck by your goals to improve yourself. As for my New Year’s resolution . . . well, I’ll wait until next year to try again. I swear, I’ll nail it then.