With the New Year upon us, Grand Valley State University students shouldn’t let resolutions stand in the way of self-improvement

| 1/6/13 7:08pm

If you’re one of the 45 percent of Americans that made a New Year’s resolution over holiday break, we’ve got bad news for you Grand Valley. According to a survey published in the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology, only eight percent of you will actually be successful.

Now, here at the Lanthorn, we’re optimists, but there’s nothing like surviving the Mayan apocalypse to make you face the reality of things: resolutions, though admirable in their mission, can often manifest themselves as a whole new beast of psychological setbacks, causing those who were once hopeful for change to focus more on the negative aspects of the resolutions they couldn’t keep versus that positive goal of self-improvement that they began with in the first place.

Resolutions are inherently tricky, and much more an act of cultural tradition than they are a binding contract. Resolution made for resolution’s sake does not lend itself well to follow-through – it has to come from somewhere more sincere than that.

Just because you said it out loud or updated your Facebook status about it doesn’t make it any easier to follow through with – it just makes all those cracks in the road into bigger, harder-to-face obstacles later. That’s not to say that a resolution guarantees failure, but it often does make success seem much further away.

Just like all of those times you unwittingly nursed those fleeting thoughts of skipping a class that were planted in your head until they blossomed into a full-fledged absence, the thought of failure often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy rather than a vehicle on which we can let determination drive us forward.

So whether it’s eating right, sleeping well, drinking less or hitting the books, don’t make your resolution with failure in mind, but don’t expect the ride to be smooth the entire time. Embrace the cracks, because, just like most of our resolutions – they’re only temporary.

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