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By: Takhliq Amir

With a New Year comes a new beginning, new opportunities, and the traditional New Year resolution. For many of us, the start of 2016 brought about a chance to once again bring out those handy notebooks, uncap the new ink pen, and begin creating a list of everything to achieve in the new year. We sat there, a giddy feeling coursing through us, as we pondered on the aspirations of this year and all the things we could possibly accomplish.

Every year in my life that passes, however, brings about rising doubts regarding the value of these resolutions. A small number of people actually fulfill their resolutions despite many with good intentions. Listening to the radio I heard a host comment, mocking those who attempt resolutions, and how no one can ever actually be expected to carry them out. Even my chemistry professor joked about the fleetingness of these promises. And yet we seem to have forgotten that that is what they are: promises.

Regardless of whether or not New Year’s resolutions are something to be adopted, they should be considered as promises to oneself. A New Year’s resolution might be overly ambitious, but it is also a challenge and a promise to yourself to work towards achieving a goal. It is a test of your own capabilities and a push at your personal conviction.

As humans, we are programmed to make excuses for our actions and behaviours that might, and are probably, a shortcoming. Nobody likes to admit failure, after all. As well, New Year’s resolutions, as a start to the year, give us something exciting, something exhilarating to look forward to. Imagine if, by the end of the year, I visit all 25 countries on my list! But they can also set us up for failure. And sometimes, while writing the resolutions might have been an invigorating experience, the failure of not achieving something produces a greater disappointment.

Every year in my life that passes, however, brings about rising doubts regarding the value of these resolutions.

I want to ask you then to not make New Year’s resolutions if you are not serious about them. There is intense satisfaction in fulfilling a resolution, which is easily spoiled by the carelessness with which they are perceived and pursued. New Year’s resolutions have become merely a symbol that welcomes in the year, a tradition that has been carried on from past generations and will likely be passed on to the next. Instead, think about the things you’d like to achieve today, tomorrow, even in the next week or month. But don’t lose sight of the end goal. These resolutions are worth as much as the fulfilling sense of accomplishment that achieving them evokes. So be ambitious and be daring, but also keep the promises that you make to yourself.

Photo Credit: Jon White/Photo Editor

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