With the New Year approaching, students brainstorm how improve in the year 2012

By Mattie Stevens, ’13

As the year comes to an close, students are shocked that there is but one month left in 2011. As soon as children returned to their homes to count how many pieces of candy they had received on Beggar’s Night, people were already brainstorming what they wanted for Christmas and couldn’t wait to watch their favorite holiday movies. With the holiday season fast approaching, people are also faced with another event: the New Year. Just as presents and turkey come with Christmas and Thanksgiving, New Year’s Resolutions come with the New Year.

Many students find the idea of forming unique and realistic resolutions to be a challenge. They must ask, “What is the most pressing issue in my life right now, and how can I fix it?”

Like many, junior Hunter Bloecher found it difficult to conjure up more than one or two resolutions.

“I’ll try to run during the off seasons for cross country and track, to give me that edge against other runners,” he said. “Other than that I’ll probably just try to keep my grades up and work hard in school.”

Freshman Rachel Williams can attest to the difficulties of coming up with original New Year’s resolutions.

“I would like to be more flexible in dance and eat healthier,” she said. “I can’t really think of anything else to resolve.”

Once they decide what they want to improve, they must figure out how to go about completing the action. This is where a New Year’s resolution can go wrong.

BBC News argues that New Year’s Resolutions don’t always improve life style. If people are always contemplating what they can improve in themselves, they’re likely to look for all the aspects of them that are “bad” or “wrong.” This can turn into negative self image and lead to extreme courses of action. They recommend that people resolve to go green, learn something new, give back to the community, or be active to increase endorphins which leads to a sense of power or control.

Bloecher sees both the good and the bad in New Year’s resolutions.

“I think that New Year’s resolutions are a way of bettering oneself, but I also understand that some people could take it to an extreme level, like becoming anorexic or something,” he said.

Meanwhile, Williams continues to look at New Year’s resolutions as a positive aspect of life, simply a way to help a person strive to be the best they can be.

“I think New Year’s resolutions have a positive effect if people go through with them and really try to pursue their goals,” she said. “Otherwise, they have no effect if someone just gives up early.”

Williams brings up another important aspect of New Year’s resolutions: following through. It’s one thing for someone to think of a resolution, but it’s a whole other challenge to stay true to a commitment.

Proactive Change, a website that offers psychotherapy, life coaching, and marriage counseling given by Serge Prengel, an expert in personal growth and healing, states that of 40 to 45 percent of Americans make at least one New Year’s resolution. After one week, the number of people who were still following their resolution had already dropped 75 percent. After two weeks, the number dropped slightly to 71 percent, after one month it dropped further to 64 percent, and after six months the percent of people still staying true to their resolution plummeted to 46 percent.

New Year’s resolutions are a helpful way for people to keep improving upon themselves, because there’s always room for improvement. But it’s also important that people balance what it is they wish to improve, and make sure that they look at these aspects from a positive point of view.