Is it time to change the yearly routine?
There is a long-standing tradition to profess your new year’s resolutions on the first day of every year.
Usually, these resolutions are pretty simple – go on a diet; exercise more; focus more on school. It makes sense that new year’s resolutions are a thing...after all, a new year means a new start, and people always get inspired to put the past behind them or better themselves in some way once January kicks in.
But do these resolutions mean anything?
Based on personal experience and the experience of those around me, new year’s resolutions typically don’t last very long.
Once you get back into the swing of things and life starts getting in the way, it’s likely that you will forget all about that one resolution you made to fix your sleep schedule (and we all know how well that resolution was going to go). All of that energy is put into, at most, a couple of weeks of genuine intention to change for the better. While having a new year’s resolution and good intentions might be fine, it feels a little futile.
New year’s resolutions make us feel good for a short period, and they are always about ourselves. Little things we need to fix in our life that we could fix any time of the year!
With a day as important as new year’s, shouldn’t the opportunity be used for something bigger than that? Or should we get rid of new year’s resolutions altogether and instead try to make a more conscious effort to help our communities year-round?
January can be a boring month. For us Canadians, the weather can be frigid, and nobody feels like doing anything. Pretty bad combination for trying to make a resolution happen.
Perhaps we can use that extra time January seems to bring us to look into charities, volunteer projects and opportunities that benefit our community.
For example, there are opportunities for volunteer student mentorship for those of us who are soon to become StFX Alumni. Within the Antigonish town, there are volunteer positions at valuable places such as the Women’s Resource Centre.
New year’s could be more than just a one-week stint at the gym. January can be the month that reminds you that you have an entire year ahead of you to make some time to give back.
Recently, a friend of mine decided to embark on an AIDS LifeCycle ride. This means that he will be riding his bicycle 900km for seven days to raise money to fight HIV/AIDS.
It is an amazing cause, and so my new year’s resolution actually is a reminder – a reminder to donate as much as a broke university student can to a friend who is fundraising for something really important.
This is another change that we could make to the way we approach new years to come. We do not have to do charity or volunteer work all alone! Ask around to people you know if they already have plans to volunteer this year. Try and help as much as you can with fundraising or even just getting the word out there.
If you do not think you can contribute to a community project, then don’t force it. We all have our own lives and things we have the head space to achieve every year.
Yet, just making the effort to simply find out if you know people who can contribute is just as commendable! Instead of new year’s resolutions, let’s start a new trend of new year’s reminders.
Remind yourself in January to do something that will not only make you feel better but might also help people around you. Whether it be community volunteer work or helping a friend in their charitable project, get involved.