Reflecting on Resolutions

Are New Year’s resolutions just cliché or is there something to them?

Abigail Guadnola, Photo Editor

Okay, I have a confession to make, every year I tease people who make new year’s resolutions but I myself am guilty of the same cliché as everyone else.

Each year I genuinely want to stick to all of my resolutions, but I get busy and old routines persist regardless of my intentions. Up until last week, this year looked as if it was going to be the same song and dance all over again, but something changed. Perhaps this is part of growing up or perhaps this is the realization that I am so immensely tired of the cycle I’m stuck in- a desire to change, the intention to change but no follow through.

Last week was the week before finals. The week before finals is always stressful and generally stirs up many emotions for me, this year that week was much worse and much more intense, and it got me thinking more than normal.

In my time in high school, I genuinely haven’t done much. Granted I have much to be proud of, but in the realm of making an impact, there doesn’t seem to be much there. As I pondered my last three and a half years, I also got a glimpse of myself through the eyes of others. I discovered I have a reputation for always being obnoxiously sassy with a high attitude and, if we are honest, being super awkward, kind of weird and just generally obnoxious. Now let me clarify, I’m not saying this to gain pity or get a self esteem boost, I’m saying it because I know it’s true and I want to change it.

The vast majority of adults in my life talk about some big moment that woke them up and made them realize things like what they were supposed to do with their lives or that they should make a particular decision. I’ve had plenty of moments that should have done that, and if you’d asked me a week ago I would have said they snapped me out of the terrible routines I get myself into. Now? I know those “defining” or “life-altering” moments, didn’t have that effect, they were more like a scratch on a record.

Question of the day: If you were to die in an hour, would you be happy with what you’d leave behind?

It’s okay to say no, my answer is 100% no. I know this question isn’t a fun one to think about, I mean who really wants to spend their time think about death and if it was their final moments on earth? It might not be comfortable but it definitely is something everyone should do once in awhile. When I asked myself this question, I thought about my time in high school, the friendships I’ve had, the things I’ve said and my experiences. I thought about what Ghandi once said: “be the change you want to see in the world.” In that moment, reality hit me like a train, I haven’t been the kind of person I want to see in the world. I figured out I need to make changes in my life. We all do to some extent.

I’m not exactly the person I want to be. And that’s alright, as long as I start putting in effort into making myself better. At Arapahoe we talk about taking care of each other and loving each other, the amount of people that actually live by that are few and far between. I want to be one of those few and far between people. I want to be the kind of person who listens 70% of the time and talks 30%, I want to learn other people’s stories- my peers and my teachers, I think we should all spend more time thinking about what we say before we say it.

Back to new year’s resolutions, in a way, I just shared some of mine with the internet. However they aren’t “new year’s” resolutions, they are simply resolutions. The problem with new year’s resolutions is that no one follows through with them, ever. And the people you want to keep you accountable are also failing so it becomes a mutual failure. It shouldn’t matter when you resolve to do something, just do it. Everyone should make resolutions, and everyone should strive to keep them. However, I of all people know the task of keeping resolutions can be daunting, so here’s some tips to help keep your resolutions:

  1. Don’t do it alone- you are more likely to make real change in your life if you do it with someone else, and it’s a lot easier because someone understands the struggle you’re going through.
  2. Tell people your goals- By telling others about your goals they can help keep you accountable and make sure you follow through. For example I just put some of mine out for the world to see. Now if I don’t make those changes, someone could easily pull me aside and remind me of my own words.
  3. Don’t be hard on yourself- I think everyone has a tendency to be critical of themselves. For example I’ve had friends attempt to stop drinking soda and if they slip up, that goal dissolves and they don’t keep trying. Don’t hold yourself to an absurd standard, it makes change much harder.
  4. Give it about three weeks- The first three weeks of change are generally the hardest however they are crucial to creating habits. Continue to push through the hard parts and keep your eyes on the end goal.
  5. Remember your value- Even if you don’t reach your goal, that doesn’t make you a failure- even if it seems that way. You are worth way more than your successes and failures.


Change is hard, and it doesn’t often come easy. It can be messy and painful. But in the end our lives typically change for the better. All that being said no matter what you resolve to change in your life, do it because it’s important to you. Don’t simply decide to change because it’s tradition. Use the new year as a time to reflect on your past and become excited for where you’re going, strictly that. If you truly want to change, resolve to do it now, don’t wait for the year to end. All that said and done, I believe in you, good luck and be fearless.