With a few weeks crossed off the 2014 calendar, now is the time when New Year’s resolutions are put to the test.
Crowds on the running track have thinned. That coffee addict who swore off Starbucks for the year dejectedly orders a latte. Maybe your New Year’s resolution is hanging in the balance, or perhaps you didn’t make any resolutions but want to start one. Either way, here is what a few students had to say about some interesting New Year’s resolutions they’ve made and how they’ve managed to keep them.
For the past few years Ashlee Kaighen, a senior nursing major, and her sister Brittany, a senior music education major, have made an ambitious resolution: cut out one item from their diet for an entire year. Over six years the two have been able to cut out everything from red meats to desserts. This year, however, may prove to be their most challenging yet, as the two seek to cut out all dairy from their diet. The Kaighen sisters will face several challenges in keeping their resolution.
“It’s hard when you’re at college and can’t plan your own menu and choose the ingredients. The dining common is great, but it’s difficult to figure what we can and can’t eat,” Ashlee Kaighen said.
Just a few of the many items the two will have to nix from their diets are ice cream, granola bars, meats that were prepared in butter, and cake, an item that will be particularly hard for Ashlee to avoid, considering that her wedding is in a few months.
“It’ll be tough. We’re having cheesecake. Hopefully I’ll just be able to say no,” Kaighen said.
Kaighen explained one of the keys to succeeding with a resolution: accountability. She and her sister have been able to encourage each other when the temptation to go back on their decision is strong. Another key to their success is that rather than simply lamenting over the foods they can’t have, the Kaighen sisters find substitutes. So far they have enjoyed the resolution, and as a result of it they have more energy and feel healthier throughout the day.
Instead of cutting out food with his resolution, Ben Smith, a senior political science major, is attempting to cut something a little different out of his life: his cell phone.
Everyone has seen a group of friends supposedly “hanging out,” but instead of actually interacting with each other, they all have their eyes tied to their cell phones. For his New Year’s resolution, Smith is going to try to fight this tendency.
“I got the idea when I was talking to a friend, but only halfway listening to him because I was on my laptop. I apologized for not fully listening, but my friend said, ‘I’m used to it.’ That struck me as odd,” Smith said.
After this incident, Smith began to notice more and more around campus how people seemed more interested in their phones than in the people around them, and he knew he was just as guilty of the same habit. To combat this tendency, Smith said he has decided to stop checking his phone between classes. Smith said so far, keeping his resolution hasn’t been difficult. Although he admits it may become more difficult as the semester goes on, he said he may have to take more drastic measures like putting his phone on silent mode.
For someone who is seeking a career in politics as Smith is, communication is very important, and he hopes to improve his communication skills through this resolution.
“I’m hoping it will help me become not only a better communicator, but also a better friend.”
So even if you’ve succumbed to a grande from Starbucks or snoozed through your alarm instead of exercising, follow the example of these students. 2014 doesn’t have to be another year of failed resolutions.