Kirkwood High School student newspaper

Sarah Nash

Call Ed: Resolution revolution

There were 10 seconds on the clock. The ball was about to drop. And you still had no clue what you were going to do different for 2018. Now that it’s January of the new year, TKC decided to dedicate this issue’s editorial to New Year’s resolutions. Famous for reforming people by giving their lifestyle a makeover, we know resolutions can get out of hand. But 76 percent (59/78) of our staff believes New Year’s resolutions can help if done correctly, so we’re going to offer some advice on how to make the most of your 2018 goals.

February 7, 2018

About 4,000 years ago, Babylonians made promises to their gods that at the start of the new year, they would pay their debts and pledge their loyalty. If they kept their promises, the gods would reward them the following year. Now, most aren’t as serious about their resolutions as the ancient Babylonians, but the idea of sparking change has stayed around, evolving into what we know as New Year’s resolutions.

Stop eating so much sugar. Travel somewhere new. Learn how to hold a handstand. Be a better person. Modern New Year’s resolutions, in TKC’s opinion, are oftentimes just capitalist shams to suck people into something like year-long gym memberships, but resolutions don’t have to be mind-blowing, life-changing, gut-busting revelations. As you trudge back into your life in a post-holiday slump, change something realistic in your life to help improve yourself and people around you throughout 2018. Because, let’s face it, the world could use a little more growth and positivity.

It’s not the most comforting thing to roll out of bed to the cold, unforgiving weather of early January. Having to surrender your carefree winter break that you spent around the fire or swaddled in blankets while binge watching Netflix sucks, especially when you leave the first day of the new semester with hours of homework already lined up. The afternoon still turns to evening at 4:15 p.m., now with no Christmas lights to shine through the darkness. But, it’s possible to make it through each week without feeling like you had to climb a mountain to see the weekend. Give yourself a break. Challenge yourself so you aren’t wandering aimlessly through the responsibilities January seems to throw at you seconds before they need to be done. Look for small goals you can achieve to keep powering through. Just don’t set the bar higher than you can jump.

According to U.S. News, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. And for that 20 percent feeling smug that they’re more competent, only 8 percent will carry out their resolution through the entire year. Times are tough when soccer moms think they can fit yet another hot yoga class into their schedule on top of their goal to cook organic, vegan meals every day. It’s okay, Karen, just get your kids to practice on time. That’s a feat on its own. Just like parents taking on too much, high school students shouldn’t be trying to change their lives entirely once midnight strikes on New Year’s either. With classes, sports and other extracurriculars, complete reformation just isn’t likely. It’s about changing little things to make your day-to-day life more manageable.

One way to ensure your resolution lasts at least past February is to write it down. A study from Dominican University showed that you’re 42 percent more likely to achieve your goal if you write it down and consistently refer to it. Don’t feel like you need to scramble to find a resolution, but if you have one in mind, put it on paper. Hang it on your wall if you need to. We aren’t talking “save the Arctic” or anything, but something like “go to bed no later than 10 p.m.” Little goals like that are what sparks true progress, as they usually inspire another goal. Imagine if everyone at KHS went to bed early, did all of their homework and stayed on top of their responsibilities while minding their own business. Ah. Sounds nice. Impractical, maybe, but not if everyone set goals and actually followed up on achieving them.

With that said, we understand New Year’s resolutions can just add more stress if you happen to fail within the first few weeks of January. Or the first of the month when you pop open that bag of chips after pledging to eat healthy. We know resolutions can cost money if your goal is to travel or to go to the gym, and sometimes the desire to get out of bed and accomplish something in the dead of winter is low. New Year’s resolutions done correctly are helpful, but unaccomplishable goals are overrated. You don’t have to make them such a big deal, though, or for that matter, even call them New Year’s resolutions. It’s okay if you fail, because you can start over. 2018 is not an episode of “Survivor” where you’ll get kicked off the island if you make one wrong move. 2018 is more forgiving than you think. So whatever it is you want to accomplish this year, it’s not too late to pick yourself up and start working. Because trust us, it will seem like an eternity waiting for 2019 to come before you have another chance.

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