Why January 1st?

This year my mother resolved to go on a diet. “I haven’t been keeping up with mine lately; I need to work a little harder if I’m going to lose weight!” I looked at her oddly. She has, of course, been on the same diet for about three years now, and she has never been satisfied, no matter where it has taken her. Which made me think — why make a New Year’s resolution that you’re not going to keep? Amber, a friend of mine from home, was telling me about her New Year’s resolution: not to get pregnant. “Because, I mean, I’ve never made one: I’m always afraid I’ll forget.” What? It’s a tradition that seems to have lost its touch. A couple of years ago, my New Year’s resolution was important to me. I’d think about it for months to come, wondering how well I was following my covenant. This year, I danced for the first minutes of 2009. I wasn’t thinking of what I would be doing for the year to come. My New Year’s resolution was more an implied “forget about 2008 as much as possible.” My question to everyone who did make a New Year’s resolution is: why on the first day of 2009? Why not on any other day? It shows a type of lethargy when you save your most important resolutions to the end of the year. December, after Christmas, would be a good time, by the way — you know, while you’re in the spirit of giving for the holidays, to make it a point to better yourself or help other people. But, no, we’re saving it for a single day, 365 days after we made our last resolution. Spread out your resolving a little bit. Promise to do something little every month. Instead of, “I’m going to lose 15 pounds this year,” how about, “this month of May, I’m going to eat 100 fewer calories daily.” Spreading out resolutions not only keeps you on track, but also makes your goal a lot more realistic. Change is, after all, a gradual process rather than an instantaneous explosion of new circumstance. That is, if you decide to make a resolution at all. I’m going to boycott the idea. After all, you could’ve begun dieting when you realized your weight was out of control. Or you could’ve tried harder in school when you got that ‘D’ on your midterms. New Year’s should be about welcoming in the New Year and saying goodbye to the old year, not about peering into the future and stressing about what you need to do to be a better person. In short, New Year’s resolutions reflect an outdated and inefficient mindset. The process by which one changes oneself is not a forced revelation before the ball drops; it’s something more special that deserves constant attention. Instead, make New Months’ resolutions. My first? Get my schedule worked out in the Dean of Studies Office. Bradly Kneisel is a two-year Lower from Toledo, Ohio.