We need a resolution revolution

Alexandra Chertok, Staff Writer

It’s February, and that means about 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions have failed, according to US News and World Report.

This statistic may seem surprising at first, but, like many things in life, it is simple physics.

According to Newton’s First Law, an object at rest stays at rest unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

At the end of every year, many feel increased pressure to come up with resolutions. Family dinner conversations revolve around goals that will never be reached, and social media platforms are full of sparkling proclamations on shiny backgrounds.

You are “at rest.” Sure, you might have thought to yourself that this year will be the one, but all the thinking in the world will not set you in motion.

When the calendar flips to Jan. 1, people proudly announce their resolutions to their friends and family. “Maybe last year didn’t work out so well, but in my defense, I was busy,” you said. “But this is going to be my year!”

It seems like “resolution” is a fancy word for “goal that is going to fail.”

That’s not to say that setting goals is not a good practice. However, the goals that make up the average New Year’s resolution are often unclear, unnecessary and unattainable.

It’s easy to say that you want to “get healthier,” “be more positive” or “get organized,” but these vague terms have no plan of action and are destined for failure. There is no force to create motion towards your goal. However, if you tell yourself you’re going to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, write down one good thing about your day every evening or recycle unnecessary papers once a week, you have a way to measure if you are succeeding at those goals.

Resolutions often imply there is something fundamentally wrong about you that needs to be fixed. Although most goals are set out of a true desire for personal improvement, New Year’s  resolutions are often made in the scramble at the end of the year to sound impressive. As a result, many resolutions are formed to avoid judgement from others rather than from your own aspirations, meaning you are not truly interested in accomplishing them. It’s impossible to perfect how you appear to everyone else, and attempting this will destine your resolutions for failure. On the other hand, if you set goals for yourself rather than what you believe other people want, you will be able to give yourself that momentum needed to achieve them, and others will come to appreciate your motivation.

Right now, the idea of setting new goals is at the back of most people’s minds. The holidays are long gone, the snow has turned to polluted slush and it seems like the sun hasn’t come out for a year. But if there’s a change you truly want to make, why wait until next Jan. 1?

It might be the shortest, dreariest month of the year, but there’s never been a better time than now to get after your goals.

It’s time to be your own force.