Op/Ed 1/17/14

Many start, but few complete

resolutions for the new year

By Dakotah Brandow

Managing Editor

Now that 2013 has come to a close, many have decided to change themselves for the better in 2014. The idea of a new year’s resolution is prevalent in many western civilizations, as many feel the new year is a great time to change.

The first group to make resolutions were the Babylonians. They would make promises to their gods to return borrowed objects and pay off debts.

The Romans also had a new year’s tradition of making promises to the god Janus (god of beginnings, transitions, gates doors, passages, endings, and time) and even named the month of January after him.

During medieval times, most knights took a “peacock vow” after Christmas to reaffirm commitment to the chivalry code.

The idea of a new year’s resolution in the U.S. started shortly after the Great Depression, when about a quarter of the population made resolutions.

Now, about forty-five percent of Americans usually make new year’s resolutions every year. Seventeen percent of Americans rarely make any sort of new year’s resolution. And finally, about thirty-eight percent of Americans never make any new year’s resolutions at all.

Despite the large number of Americans who make new year’s resolutions, only about eight percent actually succeed with their goal. With this being said, about forty-nine percent of Americans who make new year’s resolutions find infrequent success with their resolution, meaning that they occasionally follow through with their commitment. Twenty-four percent of Americans fail to follow through with their resolution at all.

Over time, most Americans falter with their follow-through with the new year’s resolution. Seventy-five percent of Americans manage to maintain their resolution for the first week. Past two weeks, 71 percent are still committed to their resolution. Past one month, 64 percent of Americans are still committed to their resolution. After six months, only 46 percent are still dedicated.

Studies show that people who make clear-cut plans of action have ten times the success rate than those who don’t.

Age suggests a part of committing to a resolution as well. Thirty-nine percent of Americans in their twenties are able to remain committed to their goal. However, only fourteen percent of people in their fifties remain committed to their resolution.

In America the ten most popular resolutions are as follows: to lose weight, to get organized,

to spend less/save more, to enjoy life to the fullest, to stay fitand healthy, to learn something

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new/exciting, to quit smoking, to help others, to fall in love, and to spend more time with family or friends.

Out of all interviewed LHS students, about half had not made resolutions for this year. Out of the other fifty-five percent, all have kept their new year’s resolutions up to this point in time.

Some resolutions involved practicing parkour or getting baptized. Some resolved to get homework done on time, fill out scholarships, or spend more time with friends.

The new year for LHS is looking bright.


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