Celebrating New Years, cheering personal growth

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COURTESY PHOTO / WM.EDU

When I started going to the gym at the beginning of the semester, it was constantly packed. I was shocked by the number of people at the Rec Center. It didn’t seem to matter what time of day I went, the crowds of people wanting to work out were unavoidable. However, as soon as the calendar turned from January to February the crowds begin to dwindle. With each passing day, fewer and fewer people were making the trek to the Rec. While the lack of people made it easier for me to use the machines and facilities I wanted, the emptiness was a reminder of how difficult it is to consistently work out past January.

The dramatic increase in gym goers that comes with the start of the new year often comes as a result of New Year’s resolutions. Losing weight, being healthier, and working out more are almost always the most popular New Year’s resolutions, but how often are they actually kept? I know an immense number of people who no longer make or “don’t believe in” New Year’s resolutions due to the fact that they are never able to keep them. This results in disappointment and loss of self-confidence. However, if made correctly, New Year’s resolutions can and should be a helpful tool that results in self-improvement and self-care.

The key to crafting a manageable and attainable resolution is to first make it something that matters to you. Your resolution should be something that you are passionate about doing or something that you know would be really good for you. Essentially, in order for you to keep your resolution it needs to be something that you truly want to accomplish.

Additionally, stay away from making broad, general resolutions. Instead of “start working out” try “go to the gym three times a week” or “work out an hour a day, five times a week.” If your resolution is too broad it will be easy to abandon, but if it is specific it can be easily broken down into smaller steps that will make the resolution more attainable.

Once you have made one or several resolutions that you have deemed worth your time and manageable, recruit some friends to help keep you accountable. Whether your resolution is to keep your 3.8 GPA or go to yoga four times a week, having friends keeping you on track will make your goal feel less formidable. Plus, if your friends have similar goals to you, you can keep them accountable as well. When you have a group of people who are supporting you and encouraging you, you will obviously be far less likely to give up on your resolution.

While making a New Year’s resolution may feel silly, cheesy, or maybe even pointless, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to pledge to accomplish something great. Dedicate the new year to improving yourself and taking care of yourself, or make a resolution that revolves around others! Either way, it’s not too late to make this year your best yet. If utilized properly, the new year can be the fresh start we’ve all been wanting.

Email Katherine Yenzer at [email protected]

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