By Danny Atten, Opinions Staff Writer
As the New Year begins, and we are exhausted by the holiday cheer and the shopping frenzy, we realize that once again we were ensnared in the flashing lights and the glorious sales of the commercial world, presents on Christmas and parties on New Year’s. Though the holidays are meant to spend time with family, relax and rewind, and celebrating all the good things in one’s life, so many lose sight of the point. One of the biggest holidays of the year, New Year’s, is commonly thought of as a time for change and for new beginnings. Many individuals during this time make New Year’s Resolutions. Yet very few actually keep them. New Year’s Resolutions have become an obsession of past years, a bygone of the last generation.
According to the University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 8% of those who made resolutions were successful in 2012. After looking at this number, one must ask the question: what is the point? The journal ranks the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2012:
- Lose Weight
- Get Organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Stay Fit and Healthy
- Learn Something Exciting
- Quit Smoking
- Help Others in Their Dreams
- Fall in Love
- Spend More Time with Family
While these are noble resolutions, some, like falling in love, are not within our control, while others, like enjoying life to the fullest, are rather obvious. Doesn’t everyone want to enjoy life to the fullest? The journal further states that, among Americans, 55% almost never make a resolution anymore, proving further that resolutions have become a thing of the past.
A common theme of New Year’s is change, change for the better, and New Year’s Resolutions embody this idea of change, but in a potentially negative way. There is no point in making a goal that has little chance of being completed; in fact, it could only have a negative effect, showing people that such goals are unachievable, unreachable, and unimportant. In fact, one may ask, why do we make resolutions at all? What is the point of resolving to lose weight or stop smoking if you never intended to do it anyway? Is it to better ourselves or to comfort ourselves? Perhaps that’s the first questions we need to ask. If we need to make ourselves better, why must it take a resolution to do that? If we need to create ourselves anew, why must it only happen in the New Year? To this I say there is no point. You don’t have to wait for a new year to make a change. Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?