By Allison Ashley

“3, 2, 1… Happy New Year!” This is what the world screams together as the clock strikes midnight on December 31. It is followed by toasts, kisses, hugs, fireworks, and a moment devoted to reflections of one’s life and the promises to oneself about something to improve in the future.

But what are the chances of your new years resolution coming true?

According to senior Steven Stack, “New Years is the time to change your life.” A study conducted by Statistic Brain shows that almost half of Americans agreed with Steven. It reflects that 45% of Americans made a New Year’s resolution in 2012. However, only 8% were successful with achieving their goals. 24% of people have failed to follow through with their New Year’s resolution every single year.

“I feel like I never complete my new years resolutions, so what’s the point?” said senior KT Buckler.

“It is a good moment to reflect and make goals,” said senior Yzzy Mirabelli-Montan, “but they often don’t work. Making a resolution should be a continual process at any time during the year.”

The top 40 most popular resolutions for 2013, revealed in a study conducted by LA Fitness, included: losing weight, reading more books, saving more money, spending less time watching TV, drinking less alcohol, quitting smoking and many others. In 2012, 38% of New Year’s resolutions were weight-related and 34% were money-related.

This is creating a society where people no longer take New Year’s resolutions as an opportunity to reflect on all they have accomplished this year, but instead on what they did not achieve by this not-so-significant mark of time.

Last year, Snap Fitness, a national chain of 24-hour fitness gyms, added 100,00 new memberships after the New Year, making up 15% of all memberships that were added in 2012. After 12 weeks, at least 70% of people had quit the new exercise routine they promised to stick to.

“People are unsuccessful [when it comes to following through with New Year’s resolutions] because they only think that they can change their life during that time. A self-improvement doesn’t have to be related to a date to be successful,” said senior Meera Desai.

Senior Dan Payne added, “New Year’s resolutions are a good excuse to feel better about yourself, without actually doing anything.”

On the list of the top 40 New Year’s resolutions from 2013, there was only one that did not have to do with one’s self improvement: “Do something for charity.” Maybe the key to successfully following through with a resolution is looking outwards instead of in.

After all, making others happy usually makes us feel better about ourselves as well. It’s a win-win situation.
So, when the clock strikes midnight this year and you are pressured to make an improvement in your life, keep in mind it that “people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.”

But don’t let today’s New Year’s resolution become tomorrow’s excuse!