Archive for Monday, December 31, 2007

Resolving not to resolve at all

Has Lawrence given up on the practice of New Year’s resolutions?

December 31, 2007


Reader poll
Do you make New Year's resolutions?

or See the results without voting

On the street

What are you looking forward to in 2008?

The election. I’m excited to see some change and the direction the country is going in.

More responses

How hard could it be? Go into a crowded grocery store and ask four people a simple question: "Do you take your New Year's resolutions seriously?"

Part of my job at the Journal-World is the "On the Street" column that appears daily in the Lawrence and State section.

I was sure this would be an easy question. But 20 questions later, I still didn't have one answer. Well, actually, everyone had given me the same answer: "I don't make them."

Jon Hudson, a doctoral student at Kansas University, was one of many who have given up on New Year's resolutions.

"I kind of see them like diets; they tend to let you down. I like to make smaller, more incremental changes," he said. "I think people try to over-resolve on New Year's. I know I used to."

So had Hudson been passionate about making them in his youth and simply become disillusioned as he grew older?

If so, that didn't seem to be the case with kids at Southwest Junior High School.

Some of the students I asked about New Year's resolutions weren't even familiar with the concept - and plenty of those who were already had given up on making them.

Had these young whippersnappers become too tied up in text messaging and MySpace blogs to carry on a time-honored tradition, or has a society of convenience and instant gratification diluted our collective willpower?

It is my hope that the answer lies in realizing - as maybe Hudson has - that change isn't something that happens overnight. It's hard work and self-discipline that makes you a better person in the long run.

All the same, I still plan on making a New Year's resolution; just don't hold me to it.

Do you have a New Year's resolution for 2008? Have you followed through on past resolutions? Let us know about your past successes and hope for future success in the comments below or on your blog.


Tandava 10 years, 2 months ago

What's needed is not more resolutions, but more resoluteness.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 2 months ago

I think a lot of kids are unaware of the concept, because we raise them by telling them everything they do is wonderful, so they don't think there is room for self improvement. I did this to my kids too, but it is a major shock to them when they learned that they aren't perfect. Instead of raising their self-esteem, we turned them into messes. It might end up being a boon for self help books, or it might be their demise.

number3of5 10 years, 2 months ago

My husband makes the same resolution every year, "to try to be a better person". If we all strived to be better people every year, think what a nice world we could live in.

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