For many of us, the ball dropping on New Year’s Eve isn’t just about kicking off a new year. It’s also a reminder that we kind of dropped the ball on our New Year’s Resolutions. But hey, we’re totally going to get it together this time. This year is our year, right? (Remember when we said that last year?)
Maybe we’ll learn a new language. Or run a marathon. Or stop eating sugar. Or spend less time on our phones. Or save up for retirement. Or finish that novel we’ve been working on. No matter what lofty goals we set for ourselves, we know there’s a pretty good chance we won’t follow through on them.
We asked members of the Hurrdat team to share their thoughts on making New Year’s Resolutions and what goals they frequently set yet struggle to complete before the end of the year.
Chris Gorman, Media & Entertainment Director
We live in such a digital world that each year I try to learn some kind of skill that will come in handy if we get hit by a giant solar flare and revert back to the Stone Age. So far, I have learned how to make barely edible and rock-like sourdough bread, lasted one boxing lesson after I tore my fleshy “made for typing” hands up, and bailed on marathon training when it dipped below 10 degrees outside.
I think, like most people, I’ve set goals too large and expected results too quickly. Like “Why am I not fighting for the UFC Heavyweight Championship next month?”
This year, I think I’m going to set more modest goals like drinking more water, making space for personal time, getting my screen time down to less than 8 hours (not an exaggeration), and eating one vegetable.
Half of those sound doable.
Grant Muessel, Content Editor
I try not to limit my un-keepable resolutions to New Year’s. But I do find myself thinking about what I eat a lot more after December. So I guess, in a way, I do have New Year’s Resolutions.
Around the new year every year since about 2015, I’ll always be coming off of three ridiculously decadent meals, thanks to my birthday, Christmas, and anniversary with my girlfriend all happening between December 21-31. My wallet gets lighter. I do not.
So my resolutions are usually to eat out at restaurants less, not eat fast food every week, or dial it back on the calorie-laden craft beer. (Pro Tip: Make your resolution slightly different every year so it doesn’t feel like you’re consistently failing.) These resolutions all have have a different success rate, but they all seem doomed to fail by the end of Q1.
Working in the hectic and unpredictable world of marketing makes it tough to resist the convenience of fast food, so that “resolution” usually doesn’t last past January. The goal of eating out less is a little easier to stick to, until spring hits and suddenly every day with sun seems ripe for patio/rooftop dining.
As for laying off the craft beer—does it count if I switch it out for hard seltzer or light beer? That counts, right? You be the judge. And during a pandemic year? I think staying alive and healthy past Q1 is this year’s goal.
Meagan Morris, SEO Strategist
I’m not joking when I say that my favorite part of the holiday season isn’t the delicious food served on Thanksgiving or the family togetherness of Christmas, but New Year’s Day.
There’s something about a new year that makes me feel like anything is possible. “That’s great,” you’re probably thinking, “having a positive attitude is a good thing.”
Of course! But it also leads me to create resolutions that are not only wildly ambitious, but also pretty unrealistic given my actual interests. For example, one year I set a goal of running a marathon by the end of the year. The problem? I hate running. Another year I decided to read 100 books in a year when really I can only get through a book or two a month.
You get the idea.
For 2021, I’ve vowed to stop with the grandiose resolutions and instead work to form habits I can actually stick with, like walking a certain number of steps each day or actually washing my face before bed every night. Pretty boring, but way, way, way more likely to happen.
Jill Thomas, Podcast Services Director
I’ve never been good at resolutions. It seems like they revolve around some grand change of direction or habit in order to fix something we don’t like about ourselves. A course correction, if you will. And the word is so heavy. It feels like it carries some political weight with it—like something you would do in Congress! I think that’s where it fails us at this time of year. We need to do something to live up to the expectations of the word “resolution.” Then, we bite off more than we can chew, break the resolution, and push it aside until next year.
Actually, resolution itself just sounds stuffy and does nothing to get me excited. Now, goals, on the other hand—I like the sound of that! That sounds aspirational, with intent, and as though it’s a step toward an actual vision. You can build on smaller goals to reach the bigger goal. It’s like the difference between actual grades to measure improvement and the unconcerned pass/fail grade.
If I’m being honest, I’ve never really tried as hard in a pass/fail class. When it was done, it was done. But being graded and seeing progress (or lack thereof) so I could measure my advancement—that was something I took more seriously. Plus, when I look back at those pass/fail classes, and I see a pass, it tells me nothing of how close I came to that being a fail.
In the end, I feel a resolution should be about what motivates you. Some people don’t believe in the annual “reset” that the New Year offers to others (myself included). That’s why I opt for a steady diet of smaller goals to keep me on track to reach that shiny goal on the hill!
Hurrdat Answers is an ongoing series of interviews with Hurrdat team members. Check back for more!