Keep making healthy New Year’s resolutions

Parker Grogan, Staff Columnist

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 As we ring in the new year, people are making commitments to become better, healthier or happier versions of themselves, but do these resolves impact people’s upcoming year at all? According to ABC, the top resolution of 2019 in the United States is to lose weight and exercise more. The second-most common goal is saving money, the third is to travel, the fourth is to get a new job or hobby, the fifth is to make new friends and, lastly, the sixth is to find love. Thirty-eight percent of our country commits to losing weight and exercising more, which is interestingly down from 41 percent in 2018. Is the percentage down because more people achieved this goal in 2018, or are more people giving up hope? In other words, do New Year’s resolutions actually make a difference in people’s lives? They do, but not for the reasons you may think.

According to Psychology Today, some studies suggest that by making a resolution, you are 10 times more likely to succeed in your goal. However, some UAB Medicine estimates suggest that less than 8 percent of people actually stick to the resolutions they made at the beginning of the year. An article released by UAB Medicine explains that in order to be more likely to attain your New Year’s goal, you should start with specific micro-goals, set resolutions for the right reasons, document progress, practice patience and forgiveness, schedule to achieve goals in a certain amount of time, embrace the buddy system, consider a budget and its effects, slow down and meditate, reward yourself for achievements and ask others to hold you accountable.

Instead of losing weight, a more viable resolution could be eating less candy or cooking at home more often. Resolutions should not always focus on the negatives, because according to a blog from Canyon Ranch, a person is more likely to set realistic weight-loss goals and be able to move on from shortcomings or disappointments if they love themselves and their own bodies. Self-love, not just for weight-loss seekers, but for the entire country, should become the top New Year’s resolution. By loving yourself, goals are easier to achieve, and your happiness is a contagious condition.

Changing the way you see yourself seems more daunting than reversing your physical habits and, thus, appearance. No matter the resolution, though, it is difficult to change anything, and the success rates of doing so are abysmal. However, it is still so important to make such resolves with the same fearless hope that you will be unstoppable in your trek of achievement.

The new year is a time for people to reflect and understand their mistakes and shortcomings from the past year. Thus, the new year is a time for change, a constant reminder that people can, should and will become better people. According to the Harvard Business Review, self-reflection “gives the brain an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos, untangle and sort through observations and experiences, consider multiple possible interpretations, and create meaning. This meaning becomes learning, which can then inform future mindsets and actions.”

Without the ability to form meaning from the past, for the future or in one’s work, people are unsatisfied with their lives. While people’s New Year’s resolutions could change to become more about self-love than self-hate, overall, resolutions are important because they give people the opportunity to start over, learn from the past and create better environments for achieving personal prosperity.