New Year’s Resolutions Are Fading

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By: Shyanne Gaston

The beginning of another year in January is filled with promises meant to be kept.

The saying, “a new year, a new me,” is often thrown around when talking about New Year’s resolutions. There is a plethora of resolutions that are made every year to better oneself. Problems arise when these resolutions are not carried out. Whether it’s dieting, working out more, procrastinating less, or spending less money, people seem to have trouble keeping their resolutions. Why is it so hard to change for the better? Is society to blame or can society blame psychological makeup for the lack of willpower?

Pete Steelman, who has been teaching psychology at Hershey for nineteen years, says connecting psychology to New Year’s resolutions would be a stretch. Anything that deals with human behavior is effected by psychology in some way. However, the effect is not great enough to blame psychology on unsuccessful New Year’s resolutions. Instead, Steelman believes New Year’s resolutions deal with permanent behavioral and environmental aspects.

As human beings, we are accustomed to a certain way of life. We are content in our daily lifestyle. We form habits and routines that are difficult to stray from, which is one of the main reasons Steelman said, “Resolutions work in short term, not long term.”

Most people have good intentions to keep their resolution, but in the end, human nature kicks in and old life patterns come back. No matter the age or the resolution, Steelman said, “Neurologically and behaviorally it’s really hard to change well established habits.”

Along with Steelman, Hershey High School students agree that New Year’s resolutions are not worth it. On January 6th, a survey of 100 Hershey students was conducted and the results mirrored Steelman’s opinion. The top four categories for New Year’s resolutions are: health, personal goals, education, and happiness. Out of these four groups, the success rate was 35%. Within the 65% of people failing, 60% of people quit their resolution before the first week was up.

A senior at Hershey High School, Caroline Cotton, believes that New Year’s shouldn’t be the only time to better oneself. Cotton has never made a New Year’s resolution, but she understands why others do. She thinks reflecting on past years and wanting to change is great. What she does not like about resolutions are the results.

“Resolutions are not long term,” Cotton said. Cotton believes the hype of New Year’s resolutions are fading and if someone wants to change, they should anytime of the year.

Hershey High School students, Steelman and Cotton all believe that New Year’s resolutions are merely a fad. Steelman’s one rule about New Year’s resolutions was this; “Don’t do it because it’s trendy, do it to improve yourself.”