2019: “The Year of…?”

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2019: “The Year of…?”

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2019 — As soon as the clock strikes midnight, the old year has gone and a new one, wiped clean of the previous year’s mistakes and inadequacies, has begun. A new year is a cause for celebration and also for redemption. All around the world—except in other nations such as China, Ethiopia, and most Islamic nations that do not welcome in the new year on January 1—people are diligently listing out resolutions that are just as unlikely to be completed this time around.

Whether it is exercising every day or reading ten new books a month, New Year’s resolutions are now generally synonymous with unachievable statements of short-lived self-improvement. “I don’t have New Years resolutions. It’s far too late in the school year to change anything I would’ve wanted to change,” senior Jonnie Hughes said.

Freshman Kara Venditti said that she strives to improve her linguistic skills and also get straight A’s this year. “New Year’s resolutions are good temporary motivations for most people, but only some have the willpower to stick with their resolution to get their goal,” she said.  

It appears to be a general trend every year that by the third week of January, most of the zealous daily gym-goers have more or less gone missing until the next year’s January 1.

In early 2013, a new wave of resolution-making was started by popular blogger Eli McCann. He writes that every year, instead of making traditional resolutions, he has picked a new theme for himself, with titles such as “The Year of Attitude,” “The Year of Productivity,” and “The Year of Health.” Instead of quickly shutting down your motivation when you break your first resolution of eating carrots for every single meal, generalized themes are constant reminders to thoughtfully plan your life around being more positive, or more productive, or more healthy with every choice you make in your daily life.

Online readers have responded positively to the idea of themes instead of strict rules, pouring out their own theme ideas, such as “The Year of Discipline,” “The Year of Challenging Myself,” “The Year of Stability,” “The Year of Reading,” “The Year of Connection,” “The Year of Decisions,” and “The Year of Choosing Joy.”

When that clock strikes midnight, we like to think that the previous year’s mistakes and shortfalls have been reset and we have a fresh new start.

However, conscious self-improvement does not begin at midnight, and it is not a checklist of daily gym visits, or monthly book reads, or number of hours allotted each week to spend with friends and family. Turning improvement into yet another task on the to-do list strips it of all the novelty of the New Year and beats it down to monotony—conscious self-improvement is an active choice. Only by doing the hard work of attentively choosing to better ourselves can New Year’s resolutions actually yield results. As January comes to a close, it is still not too late to set goals for the upcoming year. What will 2019 be “The Year of…” for you?