New Year, New You?
Have you ever debated the benefits or negative consequences of a New Year’s resolution? Every year on January 1st, a tradition that many people partake in is to choose a goal to uphold throughout the new year, without concern of the impacts on their mental health. Some think more of what they want or how others will view them, rather than what’s genuinely good for them and their body. Resolution and success differ from one person to another. Some make resolutions that are realistic and actually benefit them without a mental toll, whereas others invest in an unrealistic change while ignoring the physical or mental toll it takes on them. As a result, they end up not sticking to their resolution, as it doesn’t have personal significance outside of appearance.
Hadley Montague (11) has made a resolution to whiten her teeth every day; however, she has already failed to do so 4 days into the new year. Hadley’s goal, despite being a seemingly reasonable challenge that could be accomplished, was concerned more with physical appearance than personal health. Starting off with a simple, personally meaningful resolution and making it easy to complete will make you more inclined to continue making them. Also, setting a goal you can actually complete will make you feel accomplished and lead to a positive self-image that is mistakenly associated with physical change.
Jordyn Pipe (12) made a resolution to set aside time for herself for 30 minutes a day. This resolution is beneficial for her because it will help improve her physical and mental state. This creates a good balance, as making time for oneself can make an improvement in life by helping to release any anxiety or stress. There are many personal gains that result from mindfully spending time alone and away from outside stresses. Some benefits of being alone are increasing productivity, sparking creativity, and building mental strength.
Jack Simons (12) made a New Year’s resolution to work out every day. Now, this could be viewed as both a positive and negative aspiration, depending on how much it interferes with one’s life. Obsessive, high-intensity exercise can leave you mentally and physically drained and, even worse, can lead to injuries. Also, going from couch potato to highly active often requires caution due to injuries that result from an incorrect form or over-exertion. Of course, working out is not all bad, as it can yield many benefits for both your physical and mental health, even when just starting out with 5-minute nature walks each day. According to Mayo Clinic, benefits could include maintaining a healthy weight, combating health conditions and diseases, improving mood, boosting energy, and promoting better sleep.
As you can see, New Year’s resolutions can either be beneficial or harmful for your mental and physical health. Making a resolution should be enjoyable and oftentimes challenging, yet realistic within your life. As long as you are taking care of yourself, setting goals, no matter how seemingly small or big, can be accomplished if approached from an angle of small progress over instant perfection. If you make a detailed plan for yourself that starts as small as possible, while making sure your intentions are personally meaningful, you should be able to complete your resolutions.