The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

The Student News Site of Middle College High School @ Santa Ana College

The Spellbinder

New Year’s Resolutions

Guadalupe Vargas-Gomez (created with Canva))
Each year more than 20 percent of Americans set New Year’s resolutions for themselves. Most often, individuals create physical or digital vision boards that serve as a visual representation of their goals for the new year.

Only nine percent of Americans who make resolutions follow through with them. According to Forbes, the top five resolutions for 2023 were: to improve mental health, fitness, diet, finances and lose weight.

The Cambridge Dictionary definition of “New Year’s resolution” is something along the lines of making a promise to oneself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad. The resolutions can range from simple such as drinking more water, to something more difficult like going to the gym more often.

Usually, people fail to meet their resolutions because of two things: they forget about the goals they set or they are making the same mistakes they made in previous years.

An article by Carlos Alós-Ferrer from Psychology Today, suggests that people should make SMART resolutions. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Related.

“When you formulate a resolution, it has to matter to you (be Relevant), and it has to be doable and realistic (Achievable). Don’t set goals because of others’ expectations. Measurable means that you should be able to tell whether there is progress. [And,] Time-Related means being clear about the time frame of what you want to achieve. For your SMART Resolutions, the most important letter is ‘S.’ Be Specific,” Alós-Ferrer said.

Resolutions are made to give individuals the fresh start effect.

The Fresh Start Effect is the phenomenon that refers to the increased motivation that individuals feel at the beginning of a new time-based milestone. This new spark of motivation ultimately helps people achieve their goals and improve their lives.

So, why do some people achieve their goals while others don’t?

According to a research study by verywellmind, researchers found that “people were more successful at keeping approach-oriented goals (such as changing eating or sleeping habits) rather than avoidance-oriented ones (which are motivated by a desire to avoid something).”

By changing the approach to a specific goal, people are most likely to accomplish their goals since it seems like less of a hassle to change from one habit to another in the time span of a single day or week.

The results of a survey that was conducted at Middle College High School regarding students’ top five New Year’s resolutions. (Guadalupe Vargas-Gomez)

A survey was conducted at MCHS regarding students’ top five resolutions for the upcoming year.

Of the data, the top resolution, with 53.9 percent, was to save money, and the least popular resolution was to travel, with only 9.4 percent.

For the freshman class of 2027, their leading resolution is to save money; 41 of the surveyed freshman students responded that they wanted to save money during the upcoming year.

On the other hand, the class of 2026 responded that they wanted to get fit and better their physical health.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.”

The four types of physical activity are endurance, strength, balance and flexibility activities.

The current junior class would like to fix their sleeping schedule.

According to an article from MedlinePlus, some methods that help develop a sleep routine include: “waking up at the same time each day, going to bed around the same time everyday, but not more than 8 hours before you expect to start your day, avoiding beverages with caffeine in the evening, and avoiding eating heavy meals at least 2 hours before going to sleep.”

Benefits that come with getting at least seven hours of sleep involve getting sick less often, reducing the risk of heart disease and being able to do better in school and at work.

Junior Sophia Guillen shares one of her own New Year’s resolutions.

“One [resolution] would be getting better grades and passing,” Guillen said. To accomplish this she’ll be “studying a little bit more and getting a little bit more sleep.”

Lastly, the class of 2024 would like to get their driver’s license. With their graduation just around the corner, having a license is crucial since most of them would be commuting from home to college or from home to work.

“[Resolutions] I have made is to read more and to go out more. I do want to go out more not necessarily like partying or anything but just get out more, basically be more social. And, to get my learners permit, that’s a big one,” senior Daisy Barragan said.

In terms of maintaining their resolutions, individuals like to participate in activities such as making vision boards.

According to BetterUp, “Vision boards are a collection of images or objects arranged in a way to help you manifest your goals or vision.” It can be physical or digital. They serve as a reminder of the individual’s intentions and staying focused on the goals.

Regardless of the various different resolutions they all have something in common, they all help an individual become the person they want to be.

“The fact that so many people keep making resolutions year after year, even when they do not, or cannot, always follow through on them indicates they have hope and a certain level of belief in their ability to facilitate change, becoming more of who they truly want to be,” Glenn Miller, M.D. wrote.

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About the Contributor
Guadalupe Vargas-Gomez
Guadalupe Vargas-Gomez, Co-Editor-in-Chief
I love listening to music, watching sunsets, and scrolling on Pinterest.