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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


As the beginning of the year is wrapping up, New Year’s resolutions are either ramping up or slowing down


A vegetarian recipe. (Courtesy of Emily Chao)

The end of February is that infamous time of year when gyms start to return back to normal capacity and the motivation for healthy change becomes discouraged. New Year’s resolutions are commonly unachieved and sometimes stay pending until the following year comes around. What makes resolutions so hard to stick to? 

According to Forbes, 80% of New Year’s resolutions are quit by the beginning of February. They suggest that resolutions tend to lack specificity, which is necessary for a successful goal.

Emily Chao, a sophomore studying physiology and medical sciences at the University of Arizona, set her New Year’s resolution to be vegetarian for all of 2022.

Chao said she decided to change her ways after seeing posts about the animal cruelty of a popular meat brand. She said she also believes her plant-based diet will help her be more healthy, but she does not plan on being vegetarian forever.

“It was easier than I expected it to be, especially because I cook a lot at home,” Chao said. 

Still, though, Chao said her resolution comes with difficulties. The challenges she is facing in her transition to a meat-free diet include finding ways to get enough protein and saying “no” to meat in social situations. 

Chao described herself as an “all or nothing person,” and said she would throw in the towel if she slips up. 

Many may quit their resolutions because they grow impatient or the goals lack importance. A study by K. Blaine Lawlor shows that “SMART” goals are effective in achieving success. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.

“People pick something for them that is unattainable in the quantity or significance that they choose,” Chao said. 

RELATED: OPINION: New Year’s resolutions stemming from toxic diet culture have to end

Planning and preparation are crucial to the success of a resolution, along with breaking larger goals into smaller pieces, according to K. Blaire Lawlor’s piece on SMART goals. 

Corey Miller, a junior studying information science and technology at the UA, said he wants to simply focus on himself more. This includes going to the gym consistently, getting an internship and concentrating on what he loves to do, like golfing. 

Corey Miller is focusing on himself by doing what he loves, like golf. (Photo courtesy of Corey Miller.)
Corey Miller is focusing on himself by doing what he loves, like golf. (Photo courtesy of Corey Miller.)

“In turn, I’ve been feeling more accomplished and better about myself overall,” Miller said. 

Miller attributed the challenges of retaining a resolution to laziness and becoming stagnant. He said he believes most people lack the motivation and a clear path to their goals. 

Sydney Dicker, a junior studying family studies and human development at the UA, shared a similar resolution to Miller.

“Resolutions revolve around transforming my life into the happiest one it can possibly be,” Dicker said. 

Dicker’s goal is to get back to a creative and calming everyday life. She has found a lot of luck accomplishing her goals so far through meditation, working out and continuing hobbies she used to love.

Dicker said she believes accountability is the strongest support to a resolution. Accountability can come from passion and the need to change, explained Dicker. Once progress is achieved, it fuels people to keep pushing. 

Any day of the year is appropriate for a resolution. Healthshots used a study by University College London to explain that it takes 21 days to build a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle. From students’ perspectives, it may take more time and self-discipline, but planning and starting are the first steps. Let’s keep to them.

Follow Ellen Nangia on Twitter

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