Now that the semester has begun and 2020 has officially set off, many campus members have altered their routines to accommodate new goals that they have set for the new year. New Year’s resolutions are a contested subject, with many scoffing their legitimacy; yet, many people take time to reevaluate their lives around this time.
“I think the appeal of making New Year’s resolutions by then [sic]the renewal of a New Year, and wanting to seek growth and self-improvement,” said Amy Roberts, a Boise State counselor. “I think it’s important to look at progress, not perfection, when setting goals or resolutions because perfection is inherently unattainable.”
Roberts said that although the phenomenon is popular, different people practice it in ways that may not be perpetuated in popular culture.
“I used to make New Year’s resolutions, but over the past few years, I’ve shifted my perspective from resolutions to revelations,” Roberts said. “I like to look at it more in a retrospective way rather than, ‘What should I do this next year?’ but, ‘What learning did I gain from this past year?’”
For Becca Pierce, senior psychology major, reinventing resolutions is key to them being successful. She said calling them goals, rather than resolutions, breaks it away from this often-criticized social practice that is notorious for not lasting.
“You’re not treating it like a goal, and the only way goals work is if you make a plan and then execute that plan,” Pierce said. “I think many people fail at their New Year’s resolutions because they don’t look at it as a plan, they just look at it as another part of the holidays. It’s another thing you’re supposed to do.”
Pierce said that taking time to reflect on her goals and think of plans of action for their achievement has helped her be more successful.
Just as Pierce finds ways to progressively implement change in her life, Maddie Iott, a senior in the nursing program, believes that small life changes help her see progress toward her goals.
“I have to remind myself that time continues to go, and as long as you continue to go or move forward you’re making progress,” Iott said. “Trying to develop a habit as opposed to trying to develop a lofty goal is a little bit more actionable.”
By starting small routines, Iott finds that she is able to slowly progress toward a goal, whereas big and drastic changes tend to be difficult to maintain.
“You say, ‘I’m going to run a marathon this year,’ and people do that, but I know that I would be frustrated if I had that goal in mind, and then didn’t achieve it,” Iott said. “It would basically burn me out to even go on a run.”
Iott said that New Year’s is a great time to think about how she wants her life to be different based on the past year of learning.
Though many people work towards resolutions as the new year rolls around, each person approaches the concept differently, and by doing so, affect change in a way that is meaningful and personal to them. 14