New Year’s Resolutions: Making Them Stick

Kelly Wesolowski , Reporter

Year after year, people make New Year’s Resolutions in order to improve themselves in some sort of way. Whether it’s physical or mental, these “promises” are meant to serve as a personal road map for the next 12 months.

In the United States, this concept of creating New Year’s Resolutions is so ingrained in our culture that there are even lists of the most popular resolutions and resources for achieving them. A few of the top ten resolutions for 2016 included lose weight, get organized, quit smoking, and spend more time with family.

However, according to Richard Wiseman, a psychologist and author with a penchant for mass participation experiments, discovered that 52 percent of people making these resolutions were confident that they would stick it out. But, in reality, only 12 percent of them did.

Cara DeSantis (’17) has experienced this first hand as she was one of the many to fail at her goal for the New Year.

“I made a resolution a few years ago to not eat candy and it lasted about a day or two,” Cara (’17) said. “I just lacked the motivation to stick with it because I love candy.”

According to Dr. David Wagner, a sleep expert at the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business, “when you’re tired you lack the self-control to eat healthy and the focus to be productive.”

Maybe this could explain the ongoing failures when attempting to pursue New Year’s resolutions. However, there seems to be a simple solution to this and that is to get more sleep. Being well-rested, one will be able to make much more logical and smart decisions, which will help them to work towards their yearly goal on a daily basis.

Psychology teacher, Robert Greenwood, says that he agrees with Dr. Wagner.

“Sleep definitely has an impact on your ability to be productive,” Greenwood said. “However, I think mostly that too many people set goals that are unrealistic.”

Sarah Huffman (’17) is another who has made New Year’s resolutions in past years.

“They’ve usually been pretty broad, like using my phone less, but I’ve always forgotten them within the first few days,” Sarah (’17) said. “So this year I just gave up on it, although I might come up with a manageable one in later years, but it’ll be hard with the lack of sleep I’ll probably face in college.”