Although it may not seem like it, the beginning of the new year began over a month ago. This year the fun of creating New Year’s resolutions seemed almost non-existent. With COVID-19 in the air, each day becomes as unpredictable as the next.
Coming up with and sticking to New Year’s resolutions causes an extreme amount of stress on people, especially in these turbulent times. According to Dr. Sophie Lazarus of Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, the stress that we place on ourselves when coming up with resolutions or yearly goals also causes counterproductivity. Counterproductivity hinders the attainment of a desired goal, yielding results opposite to the goals planned.
“I didn’t make a New Year’s Resolution this year because last year proved that life is so unpredictable it’s not really worth trying to set yearly goals. I honestly have no idea what will happen this year and I didn’t want to have ‘goals’ that will become unattainable due to unforeseen circumstances. This year I really just want to focus on making the most of everything,” said Magnet sophomore Claire Scaffidi.
People may find it difficult to stick to New Year’s resolutions, which causes people to fall off or forget about them. In order to stick to a New Year’s resolution include specificicity, measurability, achievability, realism, and timeliness when setting your goals. Specific and measurable goals aid in using a more organized approach when creating goals. Specificity helps one know exactly what they need to accomplish. Realistic goals instill confidence that a person’s goal fits their capabilities. If you stick to an unrealistic goal, it sabotages every other aspect of your goal. Measurability and timeliness help a person manage their time wisely so they do not become discouraged after missing a goal deadline.
“I didn’t make any resolutions and I don’t really know why! I guess I didn’t even really think about it this year. I do believe that setting goals can be valuable, but I have found that shorter-term goals are more realistic. Such as: What do I want to do in January? Or by the end of this semester?” said Magnet Biology teacher Grant Mcdurmon.
Commonly used as a coping mechanism for stress, New Year’s resolutions aid people in evaluating themselves for the upcoming year. Coming up with goals aids one in becoming more organized and mentally healthy throughout the year. Although some struggle with sticking to long term goals, they help train your mind to think about the future and its effect on you mentally and physically.
“I did make a few New Years’ resolutions this year. I decided to focus on the many different parts of my health this year. For my physical health, I will eat more cleanly and incorporate regular exercise into my routine. For my mental health, I schedule rest days where I do not focus on to-do lists. For my emotional health, I will read more and spend more time outside. So far, I have been accomplishing my goals! Using a planner has helped,” said Magnet English teacher Leanna Steffen.
People do not need to conform to the counterproductive tradition of New Year’s resolutions. Some people set goals and new resolutions all throughout the year. Feel free to improve yourself whenever you see fit!