Taking Steps Toward A New You This New Year

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“I want to lose some weight.”

“I want to volunteer more.”

“I want to get fit.”

“I want to find love.”

“I want to procrastinate less.

“I want to be better with my money.”

Sound familiar? They should, considering that you have most likely heard them or even said some of them yourself. These are just a few examples of some popular New Year’s resolutions. You have probably seen them posted all over social media along with such ads on TV commercials and storefront windows that advertise the famed slogan, “New Year, New You!” New Year’s resolutions are a way to set a goal and deadline for yourself. The hope is that, by the end of the year — or even sooner than that — you will have accomplished your goal and be all the better for it.

But do making New Year’s resolutions actually resolve anything?

From a statistical standpoint, New Year’s resolutions are as productive as any fad or trend that comes and goes. According to a recent study done by the University of Scranton, only 45 percent of Americans actually make New Year’s resolutions. Although a majority of people maintain their resolution for almost a month, only 8 percent of people actually achieve their resolution by the end of the year.

Numbers aside, though, we have all known someone or tried ourselves to complete a New Year’s resolution and failed. It isn’t a purposeful action. After all, goals are important. We need goals as human beings to know where we are going and how to get there. It gives us purpose. The deadlines that often accompany said goals give us determination and focus to reach and achieve our goals. New Year’s resolutions are just a process of setting goals and creating a deadline, but if it were that simple, then wouldn’t more people have a long list of complete New Year’s resolutions?

The fact of the matter is that making New Year’s resolutions is an overwhelming ordeal. Most resolutions call for a lifestyle change or a complete overhaul of old habits. For instance, to lose weight, one usually has to change his or her eating habits as well as to make time and effort to exercise. People have to change their entire mindsets in order to accomplish their goals. This is a difficult task alone, but then you have to take on the fact that this is meant to be an immediate alteration that most people attempt to jump into headfirst without preparation, expecting the changes to just happen and for them to accept them.

To put it simply, Rome was not built in a day nor a year.

I am not saying that New Year’s resolutions are pointless and terrible. That is far from the truth. A lot can happen in a year, which also means that a lot of changes can occur. Those changes can be the ones that could guide you toward your end goal, whatever it may be.

The point that I am trying to emphasize is something that my friends tell me all the time: that it is important to take steps. If you have a New Year’s resolution, recognize that it is a process. You have to make steps and take them one at a time. If you want to lose weight, start by making time to exercise throughout the week. Once you get into a routine, start tackling your diet. Make healthier options every now and again until it becomes a routine as well. Then, you will be on your way to losing weight. New Year’s resolutions are not an assignment that you can complete overnight. They are literally a yearlong journey to a new you. Treating it that way will really help you complete a New Year’s resolution, probably for the first time ever.