2019- New Year’s Resolutions


Anna Hulstedt, Features Editor

      2019 is coming up sooner than it seems. After the holiday season, the new year brings everyone plenty of opportunity for a fresh start. Although the tradition of new year’s resolutions comes back every year, commitment and dedication aren’t always present. It’s easy to make goals and set standards to improve health, grades, and habits for the new year, but it can be very difficult to follow through with the sometimes unattainable individual goals.

      New Year’s resolutions are hard to follow through with because American society makes it seem okay to not be capable of actually reaching one’s goals in the coming year. Resolutions are based on faults of the last year, created by a mentality to improve in a specific aspect of life.

      I would say I am a pretty driven person, but I’ve always struggled to follow through with a New Year’s resolution. Two years ago, I was very determined to actually go through with one. I thought about the past year and my sister and I concluded that we could drink less pop, so we planned on going an entire year without any soda. It was going to be a challenge, but we decided to look forward to drinking pop once again on the next New Year’s day. Throughout the year, it was so tempting to give in and order soda when eating out. It was very hard to cling only to milk, lemonade, juice, and water when the only thing I wanted was a Sprite or a root beer.

      I kept it up with my resolution all the way through September. Up until that point, I was so proud of such a small but significant accomplishment. Then one evening, which was right after the homecoming parade, I felt a strong feeling of carelessness along with a tremendous craving for a bottle of Sprite. After arriving home from the parade, I quickly grabbed a Sprite without much thought. I only had three more months to go, and I chose to give up on such short notice. I chugged my Sprite with a smile then, but felt some regret at the end of the year when my sister successfully completed the challenge with congratulations from our parents, while I had failed to follow through with a simple goal for myself.

      Returning to school for second semester is an excellent time to make some changes to improve your study skills, homework habits, and test-taking tactics. If this semester didn’t go as well as you planned, second semester provides the perfect opportunity to improve from first semester and, as the weather gets warmer, work towards summer break. Below are some helpful tips to consider relating to second semester.

      Use time wisely: With many students involved in the arts, school sports, and other extracurricular activities, it can be challenging to fit in time for homework and studying. It’s helpful to write out events and activities for the week so you know when you have more time for homework and when you aren’t. If you are waiting for a sibling to finish a practice, riding the bus home, or aren’t doing anything at the end of class, a few minutes at a time can really add up to finishing some homework ahead of time to potentially leave time to relax at home.

      Develop study habits: Everyone has different techniques when it comes to doing schoolwork. Figure out what time of night (or getting up extra early, if you’re a morning person) you stay most focused, the best place to study, and if you prefer to have music while you work. For me, I prefer some tunes during math homework, but when reading and writing, music is just a distraction. Also, decide whether or not you prefer to snack during your work, have TV in the background, or take breaks between assignments. Whichever way you prefer, developing consistent study habits will make the most successful homework time. Moving your phone to a different room when doing homework can prove to be a challenge but rewarding change in order to get more work done when needed.

      Leave time for fun: Even when homework can become over-the-top stressful and it seems impossible to finish on time every time, it’s important to ensure some time to relax and have fun. For instance, going out for ice cream with some friends once in a while, playing a sport (staying fit can also reduce stress), or participating in a theatre performance can be great ways to relax and do something you’re passionate about, as long as it’s still possible to stay caught up with school work.

      Resolutions don’t always have to be made at the start of the year. The start of a new school year in August, the beginning of a month, or even weekly goals set the tone for a lifestyle change that can have an impact in one’s life, whether or not it starts on January 1. Even if New Year’s resolutions don’t always work out, making and achieving goals should be an important part of life when it comes to self-improvement skills.