A Resolution Isn’t About the New Year

Three years ago I graduated from high school.

Three years ago college wasn’t an option for me. 

Three years ago I had just escaped a religious cult. Never would I have imagined I could be where I am today. 

As the new year begins, many Americans are making a pledge to live a better life. An article by Business Insider said, “by the second week of February, 80 percent of the new year’s resolutions made by Americans will fail. With only 77 percent keeping their pledges for the first week, according to research done by the University of Scranton.” 

The Sage Journal of Psychological Science reported, “People often fail to muster the motivation needed to initiate goal pursuit.” 

Yet, for some reason once every new year, Americans think their new resolution will turn out different than before. 

Sage Journal believes this is partially related to human’s belief in the impact a landmark has on justifying a change. “Motivation to begin pursuing their [an individual’s] aspirations following such temporal landmarks originates in part from the psychological dissociation these landmarks induce from a person’s past, imperfect self.”

 It’s the concept of the “old” you who was not able to accomplish your goals, but the “new” you who will. 

“It is important to remember that the New Year isn’t meant to serve as a catalyst for sweeping character changes.” The American Psychological Association said. “It is a time for people to reflect on their past year’s behavior and promise to make positive lifestyle changes.” 

A resolution can be one of the best ways to make a change. Yet, what is the difference between a resolution, and a promise to do better? A resolution is a goal that is swapped from meer consideration, to motivated action. It’s easy to see now why New Year’s resolutions are some of the most difficult to accomplish. 

Tim Pychyl, a psychologist at Carleton University in Ottawa, told Popular Science Magazine, “You are making it your New Year’s goal because you keep failing at it.” Meaning, if the resolution wasn’t so difficult to accomplish, you wouldn’t have to make it a concentrated effort. 

It boils down to hard work. 

Rather, we pawn off hard work as completing a resolution or a promise, it takes the same amount of effort to get the job done.  

As the new year begins, I have found myself contemplating my intentions at The Pioneer. As I mentioned earlier, three years ago I could have never imagined I would be where I am today. I have been a part of the Pioneer staff for three semesters now. There has been a fair amount of hiccups along the way, but one thing I’ve realized is this newspaper serves more than just to get the paper out. 

The Pioneer is an escape into the dimensions of the real world. It is a learning, and growing tool, there for its members to discover. It is a safe place for students to discuss current events openly and without judgement. It is a home away from home. A place where many hours are spent pouring and debating over written and verbal works. Where students, unknowingly, find connections for life.

 The Pioneer demands articulate attention. It needs to be molded into the aspect of its members’ voices. This college newspaper is a blind representation of who each student wants to be. It is a true reflection of passion and inspiration. The dedication you see in the newspaper is a product of the fear, rejection, anticipation, and questioning of one’s own ability to produce viable content. What you are reading is a rawness in each writer. An inner burst of hope that someone will see things their way. A perfect depiction of newfound, undiscovered strength.   

The Pioneer has brought me a long way from where I once was, but we still have a long way to go.   

A resolution, a commitment, a promise, call it what you will, but I am dedicated to the work and what it means to be a successful editor at the Pioneer. 

Madam C.J. Walker, an African-American philanthropist, entrepreneur, and social and political activist said, “There is no flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.”  

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