Are New Year’s resolutions destined to fail?

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Mya Johnson, Review Staff

Feature Photo By: Izzy Honey – Freshman Domechi Walton spots his classmate Johnnie Fisher as he lifts. It is very common for people, including Rangeview students, to set a resolution of hitting the gym and building muscle. 

Some say, “New Year, new you.” It’s 2017 and a fresh start for people to get gym memberships, purchase workout clothes, buy fruits and vegetables, or try to save money. While most people are just trying to improve themselves, the majority of resolutions end in the same way: failure. But why do these resolutions fail? Is it inevitable?

According to statisticbrain.com, just over 21% of Americans make the resolution to lose weight, making it the most popular resolution. Eating healthier and other life improvements follow at a close second and making wiser financial decisions comes in third.

Resolutions are plans put into action, to prompt a change; Rangeview High School is no exception to making resolutions. According to the Raider Review’s Twitter poll, 47% of the 49 voters set a New Year’s resolution.

Stephenie Anderson-Dyben, a math teacher here at Rangeview, has set her own resolution stating, “[I need to] get off social media because it’s affecting my life.”

Anderson-Dyben wants to handle her stress better and become more productive with her time.

The New Year is a time when people can reflect on the previous year and see where they could have made better decisions.

Junior Darrin Fauser says, “[I make resolutions] depending on if I think I need to work on anything that year.”

January is the first month of the year and people are making New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions are created to make a change. (Mya Johnson)

New Year’s resolutions almost always entail changes.

Sean Hackworth, an RHS junior, has set a resolution of building more muscle. He says he usually makes resolutions, adding, “I usually do the things I say I’m going to do. I make it a habit.” However, he might be an exception.

Unfortunately, while nearly 50% of Americans make a New Year’s resolution, only 8% of those people stick with their resolution, states Statistic Brain.

By February, most Americans have reverted to their past year’s ways of eating junk food and spending too much money.

“I knew that if I [made a resolution], I wouldn’t keep to it,” says Fauser.

So why do most people give up on their resolutions when they are so optimistic for the New Year?

Some say, a big reason that people are unsuccessful in improving themselves is because the goals that they set are unrealistic. Some resolutions are so broad that they may seem too big to accomplish.

Fauser states, “Most resolutions fail because people have to break habits and that’s really hard to do.”

This is another big reason why New Year’s resolutions do not pan out well.

As Mick Jagger put it, “Old habits die hard.”

Plus, it is a lot more enjoyable to eat junk food than to work out. Iowa State University conducted a study proving that each person’s body has a different oxygen threshold and when that capacity is met, it is uncomfortable and unenjoyable to exercise. People who do not exercise often are uncomfortable when active because their oxygen capacity is very small.

Conversely, when sugar is consumed, dopamine – the brain’s “happy chemical” – is released according to neuroscientist Nicole Avena.

So, there is a scientific explanation behind why physical resolutions like weight loss and healthy eating are so difficult to stick with.

Anderson-Dyben’s plan of action for success is to ask for support and encouragement from her peers, students, and husband.

“You only succeed at what you must have,” says Anderson-Dyben.

Here are some tips on how to better succeed on New Year’s resolutions.

  • Set a reasonable number of goals. It is easier to stick to one or two goals than five or six.
  • Think your resolution through. Consider what you want and why. If you’re not motivated, you won’t succeed.
  • Set realistic and specific goals. It makes more sense to set a weight loss goal of losing five or ten pounds a month than to lose 50 pounds in a year.
  • Create mini goals and reward progress. It is easier to stay motivated if there are rewards along the way. Treat yourself to a nice dinner or go out with friends.
  • Make a plan. Writing a “to-do list” or setting an alarm to remind yourself to take action will be very helpful. This five star rated app is able to help you track your goals to help improve success. Download it here: http://www.stridesapp.com/ 
  • Find people who will support you. Chances are others around you will have similar goals for the new year. Pair up with them and work together towards success.
  • Lastly, stay positive! Setbacks are inevitable, but you can always come back from them. Persevere because if you want it, the payoff will be worth it.

New Year’s resolutions may seem destined to fail, but many have proven that it is ultimately up to you if you will succeed. There are strategies that can help with success– you just have to be willing to stick with it. Just remember to be realistic and don’t give up.