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Lex Erath | Sugar & Spice

New Year’s resolutions

Published: Monday, January 27, 2014

Updated: Monday, January 27, 2014 07:01

The start of the New Year gives everyone the perfect opportunity to make positive changes in their lives, and that’s when the famed New Year’s resolutions come in. The problem is that most people really struggle to stick to their goals.  Most fall off the wagon after only a few weeks and who wants that? Not to fear — I am here to provide you with some wisdom on how to stick to your guns and last the entire year.

The most common New Year’s resolutions are usually health-related — maybe “This year I will eat healthier.” Well, Jumbos, the problem with this one is just how much willpower it takes. Think about it: Most of us eat at least three meals a day. Multiply that by 365 days in a year, and that’s over a thousand opportunities for failure right there! And that’s not even taking into consideration snacks, or late-night second dinners or any of the free food various Tufts groups use to lure you to their sparsely attended GIMs.

In other words, “eat healthier” is an entirely unreasonable resolution. 24/7 willpower? Nobody has time for that! Instead, carefully word your resolutions so that they require only a modicum of effort, and be sure to include loopholes: “I will eat a somewhat healthy lunch on the second Tuesday of every month as long as I am in a good mood.” See, now that is a quality resolution — look at you, improving your health! Go you!

Another common health-related resolution is often something like, “I will work out x times per week,” with x varying depending on how driven/optimistic/delusional the person is. The key to success in this instance is to eliminate the quota completely. Quotas are for factory workers and drug dealers, not for motivated college students like you. Simply drop the second half of your resolution and leave yourself with “I will work out.” Voila! Now, all you have to do is work out once — just once in an entire year! — and you’ve hit that resolution out of the park. Tremendous job!  

Or perhaps you’re trying to improve your academic performance rather than your physical well-being. In this case, you’re probably sitting on a sub-par GPA, or maybe a less-than-desirable major average. You might even be a little bummed out about this, but that’s only because you’re failing to see the silver lining: when you’re starting out at rock bottom, the only direction to go is up! By setting the bar low, you’re actually ensuring your success (how clever of you). What’s more, you’ll exceed everyone’s expectations this semester by earning a 2.1 instead of a 1.7. Congratulations! (And if you’re one of those kids with a 3.8 looking to bump it up to a 3.9, bully for you, but just don’t talk about it or everyone will hate you.)

But maybe none of these resolutions appeal to you, and you’re stumped for what to choose. (Because you can’t not have a New Year’s resolution; that’s simply not done! Anyone who’s anyone has one.) The secret is to pick something you actually want to do. Resolve to watch all of “Breaking Bad” (2008-2013) in one week, eat Moe’s twice a weekend or sleep through your earliest class at least three times. That way, you won’t need any loopholes or ambiguity — you’ll kill your resolution without even trying!

So, you see, succeeding with your New Year’s resolution is actually quite doable, as long as you follow my suggestions. Really, I should be a life coach, or maybe a motivational speaker.  Well, that’ll be my New Year’s resolution: to keep you coming back to this column each week for some more of my precious nuggets of wisdom. Till next week!

 

Lex Erath is a sophomore who has yet to declare a major. She can be reached at Alexandra.Erath@tufts.edu.

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