With the first month of the new year over many people are keeping strong to their proposed resolutions.
The most popular resolutions, listed on USA.gov, include the usual vows to give up vices to quit smoking, lose weight and get out of debt.
Among the list of resolutions, the common theme seems to be “New Year, New You,” which is often cited in women’s magazines or television news segments that focus on how to achieve a set resolution. However, I don’t think it has to be that drastic.
The results of a Marist poll taken in December found that out of the total population of people who made a resolution in 2008 about 65 percent maintained their goal for half the year, while a disappointing 35 percent didn’t even start their intended resolution.
Of course the statistics get more underwhelming during the second half of the year as people tend to lose momentum to keep up their newly forged habits.
Maybe most people don’t achieve their promise to nix the bad habits and adopt good ones because trying to change into a whole other person is a difficult task. I think the expression should read more of a “New Year, Better You.” Any New Year’s resolution should focus on merely improving upon one’s health, financial security and overall state of mind.
I am not usually one to make a New Year’s resolution because of the possible self loathing and disappointment that accompanies not finishing a set goal. There are plenty of times throughout the year I feel that way that I don’t need to start off the year with that kind of negative tone.
This year I decided to change my conventional practices from years past and view resolutions as a starting point to lead me in the right path for the 2010 year. Instead of looking it at as an all or nothing deal I am simply using it as a roadmap, foreseeing possible detours that might stray me from my original objective.
My first goal is to remember to take time for what’s important in life. Of course school and work are high on my priority list, but last semester I let the two dominate my life. As college students I think it can be difficult, during exams, papers and work schedules, to remember to live life outside the realm of responsibilities.
Trying to maintain two jobs and a full-time school schedule last semester, my daily agenda left no time to visit family, go out with friends, partake in hobbies or just be a 21-year-old. I barely managed to tread through the semester with my sanity intact. After months of being MIA from any social event I was invited to I realized how much I was missing out on by not taking time to interact with those that I care about the most.
My next goal: to reduce the amount of stress I add to my already hectic schedule. Dealing with the dreary economy and trying to prepare for it, I seem to have picked up a “make it or break it” attitude. If everything doesn’t play out the way I imagined it would, I feel like a complete failure and keep going over it in my head.
This habit leads me to be less productive on new projects because I continue to worry about the outcomes of the past event. I need to learn how to let it go and move on.
A final goal is to pay more attention to my finances. While I still live at home, my bills are not as dreary for those who are living on their own. Last semester, with the stress of work and school and never taking a break from that schedule, I tried to reduce my stress by spending money.
I decided since I did little else for myself I could justify the expenditure on clothes, shoes, jewelry and anything else I thought I needed. While the new buys did wonders for my wardrobe, it wreaked havoc on my bank account.
This year, with my impending graduation and moving day to look forward to, I am vowing to take more responsibility for my finances by creating a budget that is centralized on spending less and saving more.
During the beginning months of the new year feelings of optimism have yet to be tainted by the often unappealing effects of reality. Here’s to hoping 2010 is the year that brings peace, prosperity and self improvement.