My New Year’s Resolution: No More Yearly Resolutions

Thursday, January 12, 2012

  • Have you ever made a new year’s resolution that was impossible to keep?

    Have you ever made a new year’s resolution that was impossible to keep?

Written by Stephanie Rennie

Something miraculous seems to happen in the wee hours of January 1st as the clock strikes twelve and inebriated partiers everywhere celebrate the beginning of the New Year. The concept of a new year is filled with endless possibilities and optimistic accomplishments that we have failed to achieve during the last 365 days. A clean slate for a new and improved you, a chance to finally lose those last ten pounds, and an excuse to try to quit smoking once again. With this in mind, people begin to draw up their new year’s resolutions, no matter how small and minute or large and improbable.

I use to spend a great deal of time reflecting on the past year and devising my new year’s resolutions. In 2008 I vowed to be less stressed out and more organized. I gave up two and a half weeks later because my resolve to stress less actually resulted in greater anxiety. In 2010 I promised myself that I would never ever celebrate the coming of a new year so vivaciously (and later rather painfully). That one was easy to keep until December 31st 2010.

But this year is different. I have made a resolution not to make one gigantic, overwhelming, unattainable resolution, but to instead make small changes throughout the year as I see fit. Hopefully this will result in less spontaneous purchases of random exercise DVDs that are never opened.

New Year’s resolutions, although sometimes motivational and resulting in great progress, are often very problematic. The first week back at University demonstrates the fluctuation existing in such overhauls of everyone’s lives. Firstly, the gym is packed. People that have never set foot in the gym rush towards the weight room hoping to find endless motivation, and to catch their breath, when they arrive.


Of course, exercising more often and eating well is a very important change that many promise to make this time of year. Such a resolution couldn’t come at a better time after an entire week of holiday goodies, eggnog and endless family dinners with overflowing plates. The real issue of this resolution is that too many people don’t properly research what being healthy truly entails. Instead, they spend three weeks hyped up on protein bars at the gym and the remaining forty nine weeks of the year downing potato chips on the couch.

Another common resolution that ensues is striving to be a better student. Fall grades are released just in time for students to enter a week of holiday intoxication and denial, followed by a vow to make things better next semester. Organizers, agendas, and new binders are purchased with the hope that winter marks will compensate for academic devastation in the fall. Of course this resolution works out quite well in the beginning two or three weeks of the semester when students are able to keep on top of the work, but the end of January always brings an avalanche of stress filled with sweat pants, midterms and all-nighters.

Taking time to make accurate reflections on our lives is vital, otherwise we might never make essential changes that are necessary for our health and well-being. I think that resolutions are a positive part of making steps towards finally quitting smoking, getting in better shape and improving marks, but such things take time and effort all year round.

Small and thought-out resolutions should be made throughout the year to avoid obsessive fixations during the months of January, followed by complete forgetfulness of the resolution itself come March. My resolution this year is to continuously strive to make small resolutions throughout the next twelve months instead of making one ambitious promise that will surely lead to disappointment in the form of an oversized bag of chips and dusty running shoes. 

Stephanie Rennie is Editor-in-Chief of thecannon. Fire Away publishes every Thursday in The Cannon and in The Ontarion Student Newspaper at the University of Guelph.

The opinions posted on thecannon.ca reflect those of their author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Central Student Association and the Guelph Campus Co-op. We encourage all students to submit opinion pieces, including ones that run contrary to the opinion piece in question.


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