Morgan Brown ‘17 — I like to consider myself an optimistic person. When the ball drops and midnight rolls around on January 1, I embrace the coming of the new year. I look forward to seeing what parts of my personality and life will change.

I make resolutions for fun, just like everyone else. This year, I set a goal of drinking more water and reading more for leisure rather than for school. While I would love to follow through with these resolutions, I know myself, and I know that I won’t.

I’ll blow off reading to relax after finishing my homework. I’ll blow off drinking water every time there is a can of Coke in my fridge.

While I think New Year’s resolutions are fun, I have a hard time seeing them as realistic. If we really wanted to change, we wouldn’t wait until the first day of the new year to do it.

People, including myself, set their goals too high. For example, some set a certain amount of days or hours that they will exercise. The first two weeks of January are filled with vigorous workouts and trips to the gym, and in the coming months, exhaustion and daily responsibilities set in and they stop.

For some reason, the first day of January has magical powers that encourage people to change for the better. Why can’t that apply to the rest of the year? Why is it that our “new year, new me” attitude hardly ever carries on past the end of the month?

Maybe it’s because we become too ambitious too quickly. We launch ourselves into fulfilling promises that we may not yet be ready to fulfill.

If you suddenly feel the need to exercise, diet, step out of your comfort zone, or any other goals that happen to be common New Year’s resolutions, start at any time of the year. You’ll know when the time is right to make yourself a better person, and it won’t always fall on New Year’s Day.

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Laura Catron ‘17: Another revolution around the sun, another opportunity to turn your life around. Everywhere you look it seems like people are dedicating themselves to improving in the year ahead. But will it last?

The idea of New Year’s Resolutions holds a lot of merit, and is admittedly appealing. Why else would the entire population jump on a single bandwagon at once? The problem lies in that as quickly someone pledges themselves to change, they come up with an excuse to give up.

But I maintain that New Year’s Resolutions are more than empty promises. People just think of them the wrong way.

To start, if someone makes a resolution solely for the sake of jumping on the previously mentioned bandwagon, their chances are already shot. A resolution needs to mean something. That isn’t to say that a complete one hundred and eighty degree lifestyle turnaround needs to happen (which is a pretty lofty goal any time of year), but one must have motivation. The resolution cannot be abandoned the first time it inevitably goes wrong. Say, if your resolution is to stop biting your nails and you catch yourself doing it once, you can’t just give up until next year. The change has to stick, despite setbacks.

I think the key is to start small, and to choose a measurable resolution. For example, one of my resolutions last year was to write more and to get something I wrote published. Even if I wrote just a few pieces and only made one public, it would still be an improvement from the previous year. That resolution turned out better than I thought it would, in that I wrote more for school (a la RNews) and personally, and published pieces from both collections.

Even if every other New Year’s Resolution failed miserably, I’d recommend giving it a chance in 2017. Better late than never, but better early than late. Good luck!

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