Every year, people make resolutions: go to the gym more often, quit smoking, watch less television. But what happens after Jan. 1? As we fall into a rut of lethargy wrought upon us by school, work, and our lives outside of those establishments, we begin to lose sight of our goals, and focus on getting by on a day-to-day basis. Setting lofty goals at the end of one year and lacking the wherewithal to accomplish these goals is – in and of itself – not realistic. Resolutions are not the issue, the unrealistic goals of those resolving are the problem.
Languid, laid-back work ethics combined with lofty expectations are a duo which nothing can beat. If people made their resolutions attainable and worked hard throughout the year to achieve their goals, perhaps we wouldn’t be such a carefree country. According to the federal government, managing stress, managing debt, and drinking less alcohol are all in the “top” New Year’s resolutions. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism – a branch of NIH – 17 million adults had an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in 2012.
From 2000 to 2011, median household debt has increased from just under $51,000 to $70,000, according to the census. On a 10-point scale measuring stress, 20 percent of Americans report an eight, nine, or ten, according to the American Psychological Association. This is considered extreme stress. High stress, however, is present in 69 percent of American adults.
If we were really a country of sticking to its word, shouldn’t we have seen a change somewhere along the line? If we are going to drink less, manage our stress, and manage our debt, shouldn’t we buckle down and actually do that at some point? Though we are clearly not sticking to our resolutions as a country, the answer is not to stop making resolutions. Rather, the answer is to work hard, keep our goal in focus, and strive to achieve that goal.
Less stress, less debt, and less alcoholism are all worthwhile goals. They are worth achieving, but we have lost sight of that. We are all too content to fall into a routine.Instead of giving way to complacency, we should work hard toward our dreams and our goals. By setting resolutions, we give ourselves the opportunity to make something more of our lives. Why should we settle for the norm? If we stick to our word and work hard to do so, we may actually see great things happen to this country.