New year, new resolution?

By Ume Sarfaraz

New Year’s Eve 2020 graphic. (Source: Pixabay)

As the new year progresses, everyone is focused on creating a better version of themselves. It’s like hitting the reset button or entering a new chapter of your life. The year starts off like a blank page, just waiting for you to paint it with your memories.

Whether you participate in creating a New Year’s resolution or not, it’s a never-ending topic of discussion, at least for the first few weeks of the year. Everyone wants to either tell you what their list consists of or hear about yours.

If you don’t have one, you’re met with a sudden gasp. How could you, as a functioning adult, not have a New Year’s resolution? Maybe it’s because you have other priorities and you don’t want to create urgent deadlines to achieve your goals.

I wanted to learn more about why we give so much importance to this list every year.

While conducting interviews and surveys, I was surprised to see how many people were honest about their resolutions. Seems as we get older, we become more honest, not only with others, but also with ourselves. By doing so, the resolutions were very well thought out.

I tried to get a wide variety of individuals to talk to me about their thoughts and opinions on New Year’s resolutions.

While the results I got were predictable, there was something that stood out. Everyone had a list, or a set of goals, but it was the phrase ‘New Year’s resolution’ that divided the results.

Individuals over the age of 30 already had goals they wanted to accomplish, but they didn’t set a deadline. The most common goals I heard from this group were purchase a house/car, become healthier and become more organized.

When interviewing people below the age of 30 the mindset was different. They had created these goals in anticipation for the new year. For them, because of their age, it was the end of an important decade of self-realization and growth.

For people under 30, entering 2020 meant leaving foolish adolescent decisions behind and beginning the new decade as someone ready to conquer the world. This decade comes with a promise of changes, as these individuals navigate through adulthood knowing the responsibilities that are to come.

The younger group was more determined to accomplish goals they had set within certain time frames. Some goals were given a deadline of a few weeks, while others were given a few months. These goals consisted of becoming healthier, traveling more and paying off student debt.

When I asked this group why they put so much pressure on accomplishing goals within such a short period of time, the answer was unanimous, life is too short. There’s a sense of urgency to do so much in the time that you have on this planet.

Thus, the younger generation wants to take advantage of the stamina and time they have now before the responsibilities become too much.

This may sound like a sad thought, thinking you’re running out of time and life will eventually become boring. However, after thinking it over, I understood where they were coming from.

Think about it. What’s something you have been saying you’ll do for awhile, but haven’t acted upon? It could be as simple as drinking more water, but every time you get ready to do it, the thought crosses your mind that you can just start tomorrow.

Placing a sense of urgency on your goals to complete them within the year helps you achieve more in the long run.

Whether you call it your list of goals or New Year’s resolutions, everyone has a list.

We are all on a path to create a better life for ourselves. Depends on your individual journey and how you grow as a person or you can create a deadline or not.

Remember the new year comes like a blank sheet of paper; it’s your responsibility to paint the picture.

Contact Ume Sarfaraz at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

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