Resolve to meet New Year’s resolutions


By Kaanan Raja

As the year winds down and 2015 fast approaching, my friends and family continue to shower me with lists of their New Year’s resolutions. Of course, the classic examples remain from last year and years before that: lose weight, get organized, earn better grades, etcetera. 

What stays even more constant is the ever-impending break in those standard resolutions. Someone almost always fails on their resolution, whether they grab the nearest Snickers bar or forget about the heaps of laundry stacking up in their closets. 

Don’t get me wrong, up until last year, I could never actually succeed in my self-improvement resolutions either; I’d always end up skipping days at the gym or somehow end up in the candy aisle in the grocery store. 

Then, last year, I made the resolution in 2014 to take a new risk every day until I found something I really enjoyed doing. 

Every day, I ventured out of my shell and tried to do something that scared me or was out of character — I talked to strangers, spoke my unfiltered mind and tried activities I didn’t think I could ever succeed at. As someone who was always fully motivated to live each day to the fullest, but a little bit timid to start, this goal was perfect for me.

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With this goal, I joined my high school’s newspaper staff. As someone who came in with zero experience and a knack for hiding my writing from the rest of the world, “afraid” was an understatement. 

Little did I know that this risk was the best decision I made; I soon became more confident with my writing and found what I now consider my passion. By making a tangible, challenging and small resolution that I cared about, I was able to finally achieve it. 

Now I ask you all to do the same.

In order to change ourselves for the better this year, we need to find resolutions that we not only find challenging, but we are also passionate about. 

Whether you want to learn a new language or quit smoking, make sure the motivation comes from within. When internal motivation and passion are so closely linked, we have more drive to work toward our goals.

Last year only 8 percent of Americans who made New Year’s resolutions actually achieved them, according to a study by the University of Scranton. 

This stems in part from the overwhelming amount of people who make goals that they don’t care about. If you’re making it your goal to go to the gym every day, make it a point to do so because you have the desire to change and be healthy, not because you’re halfhearted about wanting to fit into a new swimsuit. As we try to better ourselves, the only way we can truly make changes in our lives is by making changes to aspects we truly care about. 

I’m definitely not arguing with college students’ abilities to be passionate. Most of us are at this university for that very reason: We want to find, or have found, something that we care so deeply about — what we major in, for example.

Instead, there are other things that play into our yearly New Year’s Eve failure. 

Time management is probably the other largest factor. Often it’s extremely understandable that we can’t fit in our New Year’s resolutions when we have a desk full of assignments we need to complete each day. As college students, we definitely know what it means to be stressed.

Even more, many of the goals that most of us set are not quantifiable, meaning that they can’t be put into specific numbers. For instance, rather than having the resolution of saving more money, one could resolve to specifically save $100 per paycheck.

When we make our goals tangible, we are more apt to actually fulfill them than having a vague idea of what we’d like to accomplish, according to Lisa Evans in Entrepreneur Magazine.

However, when you find a tangible resolution that you care so instinctively about, both of these problems of time management and unquantifiable goals are automatically erased. With the proper drive, we can always find a way to make time for something we deem important. 

So there’s your secret for this New Year: Find something that fills you up with joy, fear or, most importantly, passion and center your goal around it. Let it fill you up; the passion you have for change in yourself is unruly and important. 

Not to mention, it makes our goals much easier to attain.

Kaanan is a freshman in LAS. She can be reached at [email protected].