February 1, 2020

Imagine this: You’re watching TV. You have your hat on that says 2020 and you are waiting impatiently for the new year to begin. A few moments pass and you hear everyone around you counting down: 5,4,3,2,1 … Happy New Year! 

You’re elated to be in the new year, but you can’t help but think about what you need to improve on. You have this sensation that you need to be a better you, new year, a new decade, new you. Right? Wrong. Chances are, you are probably not going to actually change at all but instead make a goal without a proper plan to reach your goal. But you feel like you need a new year’s resolution, everyone does it, but not everyone seems to succeed in achieving the goal. New Year’s resolutions are something that is not the same for everyone, but most people seem to have the same unsatisfactory result – failure.

In a response to people complaining about the New Year’s Resolutions, I asked Brooklyn College Academy students what they thought about them and how they think they impact their lives. 

Aaliyah Moore believes in the benefits of having a new year’s resolution and actively worked toward it. Moore wanted to stop procrastinating for her resolution.  Procrastination is a hard habit to break. However, with proper planning, and determination it’s very possible to break that habit. Moore said it was hard to break because she was so used to it, but she started planning out specific dates to do work in her planner. Whenever she has an essay or test to do for college classes she mentions how she gives herself a specific time frame and sticks to it. “I was determined for a while that’s why it worked.” She mentioned how her persistence and focus helped her break her habit, she no longer procrastinates and is now a very organized person because of it.

“Restart, rejuvenate, wake up in the morning and try your best and keep pushing. Instead of waiting for the next year, try to actively progress it throughout the whole year.” Franca Palmer believes that resolutions aren’t worth the yearly wait. She believes that there should be common goals that you work on year-round. “I feel that most people think it’s a ‘when I need to do it I’ll do it’ kind of thing, but people don’t really come around to that.” Palmer believes that most people are unable to come around to it just because they don’t have the right mentality going into it in the first place. Although the goal is meant for the entire year, some people don’t even get it because the goal could be too much of a reach. They could also just push it off because of just how forgettable resolutions are. They start off as something nice and helpful for the first few moments of the new year but then it starts to fade away. Some people even forget what their resolutions were by March. Palmer said to keep pushing each day you wake up to try and achieve your goal, that way you could not forget it. It could be part of your morning routine instead of your yearly routine, and that’s how it would get done.

“New Year’s is a waiting game. You should always know what you want to do with your life if you see something you want to change then change it,” said Barrington Foster. He believes that resolutions are dumb because they don’t actually get people to strive for improvement, and that it should be a year-round thing to try and make goals for yourself to improve. If you see something wrong with your life, don’t wait for a new year, try to nip it in the bud as soon as possible. It’s easy to ignore problems and push it to the next year which is why new year’s resolutions are so easy for people to make. The difficulty in following through with it is what makes it difficult. Having to identify and face your problems, or even try and achieve new goals is difficult. On top of all of this, most people just think about the idea and not a sufficient enough plan to flesh the idea out. It stays more of a dream than a reality, and because of that most people end up ditching their resolutions so early into the new year.

“It’s tradition. It’s like why do people buy pumpkins and carve them on Halloween, there isn’t really a point to it, it’s just that other people do it” said Jasmine Santiago. Lots of people seem to have this stigma around New Years Resolutions.  When asked about what they think about the concept Santiago said, “I feel at the beginning of the year you have this whole plan, but then the next day you forget about it. As soon as February hits everyone seems to get distracted and forgets about it.” The idea that New Year’s resolutions are easily forgettable isn’t something that is uncommon. Think about what goal you set for yourself at the beginning of this year. What about the goal from last year? If these goals were something that was worked for, chances are you would remember it. If you didn’t work on it at all it was just something that you said, and it would be nothing more than a daydream.

Although most people think that New Year’s Resolutions are a hoax or a waste of time, there are some people who do agree with the benefits of one and actually achieve their goal. This is done with continuous effort, determination and above all good planning. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why should you drop your resolution after one?

“I feel that writing it down is better for me, it’s already instilled in my brain and it becomes more legit,” says Deanna (Deanna preferred to have her last name omitted), who shares her tips on how she reaches her new year’s resolutions. Writing things down is proven to help you remember things better than just saying it. Even if you write it down on a calendar or planner, it would still help ingrain it in your brain so you can try and work on it throughout the year. Deanna on top of this says that she doesn’t tell other people about her plans because if she does it wouldn’t be as special. Deanna has a fear of people not supporting her plans, or even copying her plans if she says it. One of Deanna’s Resolutions was to actually make her own music on piano; she said it worked out for her and she made multiple songs of her own. All of that accomplishment was done to her New Year’s resolution tricks. Deanna says doing things such as that worked for her and that her resolutions made at the beginning of 2019 ended up working out for her.

New Year’s resolutions may seem like a waste of time or a sense of false hope but it doesn’t need to be. It could be something that allows you to change certain aspects of yourself as long as you actively work towards the goal. It’s not necessary to choose a large goal to work on. Even though you technically have a year to do it that doesn’t mean you have all the time in the world. Choosing a goal that is important to you is key, not just something you choose because others are choosing it. 

Proper planning, determination and staying in the right mindset also help. But overall it’s important to not try and rush your goal because slow and steady wins the race. Using Barrington Foster’s words, “I wouldn’t take shortcuts to my goal, I’m going to achieve it for me and no one else.”