New Year, New Me


Photo taken by Georgios Liakopoulos, shared via Creative Commons

Jadyn Hellenbrand, Reporter

The New Year has passed, and the question arises: Has anyone written a resolution this year? Was it to “work on themselves more,” like 9th grader Keleigh Bannach? Or to “be more connected to their social circles,” like junior Sam Clepper?

What even are New Year’s Resolutions? Sam said these resolutions are “a promise someone makes to themselves at the start of the year to improve themselves.” He brought up a great way to describe the tradition in which 70% of people participate.

About 70% of people enjoy New Year’s resolutions. Due to the diversity of the world and the differing values of different countries, the most common goal per country has quite a variety. A collection of people look for health-related improvement in the US and Egypt, and Australians and Japanese search for love going into the new year. The most common for Russia is education-based, and in India, career and job opportunities are the main motives.

From where did New Year Resolutions come? They have been around for years, possibly dating back 4000 years, starting with the Babylonians. The people had a festival that would last a whopping 11 days. They, too, had resolutions, but they were more practical, like paying off debt or returning borrowed goods. Why did they set these? They believed that by following through with their resolutions, they could maintain peace with the gods. The Romans also brought their goals to their gods. In particular, Janus, whom they believed could see both the past and the future. Romans were the ones to start announcing these in the middle of winter. The purpose behind students’ resolutions is a little different. Sam Clepper’s reason was that he “feels like his life is going a lot better,” and he can easily follow through with his plans.

“How many resolutions can I write?” The answer to this question is unclear as it asks, “what can someone do to improve themselves without it becoming overwhelming?” Sophomore Jon Wilken said, “Three is a good amount of resolutions. If somebody sets too many resolutions, they’re putting up too many standards and so many resolutions that they become hard to achieve.”

How would they keep track of them? They can find lists of solutions. Lexi Meek, a senior, plans on “writing them down in her notes,” and Keleigh recommended “just staying with the right people.”

Both of which are great techniques. Do they always work? No. Only 8% of resolutions continue throughout the year, and 40% fail after the first month. According to Jon, “Not many people follow through because they set the bar too high for themselves and then forget about it and give up.” But don’t let the statistics bring down the spirit. People still keep up with their goals all year long.