InFocus: New year, new you – Resolve to keep your resolutions

Photo by Hannah Hunsinger.

By Jon Parton

If the large amount of people at the Fitness Center is any indication, a lot of students have made New Year’s resolutions. A month into 2012, many resolutions have already been broken and tossed aside.

It can be difficult to make sudden changes in life but that does not stop most people from trying. New Year’s resolutions are believed to date back to the ancient Babylonians as part of a tradition to celebrate the passage of time.

The beginning of the new year can be a great motivational time to kick start a new fitness routine, stop that unhealthy smoking habit, spend less money, or just vow to spend more time with friends and family.

Student Brandon Vander decided to make multiple resolutions this year.

“One of mine was to get a new job and the other was to use the fitness center,” Vander said, “So far, so good.”

Everyone has a life outside the classroom, which makes it challenging to balance a mix of responsibilities and try to make personal changes at the same time. The trick is to not lose sight of personal goals while trying to cope with everyday life.

Student Patrick Spurgeon not only resolved to spend less money on things he did not need, but to also make a major lifestyle change.

“I resolved to get a better sleep schedule,” Spurgeon said.

Weight loss is a common goal for many students. Unfortunately, people often set unrealistic expectations of themselves. It is recommended that people should only try to lose one to two pounds a week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Quitting smoking is another popular goal. More than 400,000 people die each year due to smoking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, cigarettes cost more than five dollars a pack. Even if health is not a concern, the hit to your wallet can be.

One way to keep your resolutions is to start small. Instead of vowing to hit the gym everyday, go two or three times a week. Rather than swear off Facebook altogether, limit your visits to once or twice a day. By making smaller changes, people can form habits that can lead to larger and life-altering changes.

Another idea is to not wait until the beginning of the new year to make resolutions. Student Menna Assefa does just that when it comes to making changes in her life.

“I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions,” Assefa said. “I don’t wait that long if I want to make a change.”

Regardless of when students decide to make their resolutions, it is important to keep in mind that taking small steps repetitiously will help you reach your larger goal.

Contact Jon Parton, staff reporter, at


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