As the new year begins, so does the practice of making new year resolutions. While some people manage to check off items on their list, we tend to hear more about people who struggle with keeping their resolutions. As much as making resolutions can help us grow mentally and physically, they are also notorious for being difficult to manage and juggle on top of daily responsibilities. 

One major reason for people giving up on their resolutions is that their goals are not specific enough. Psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert and author of “Be Fearless: Change Your Life in 28 Days  said on Business Insider that “It’s easier to drop out or walk away when you set goals or resolutions that are vague.” 

Recognizing the importance of goal setting and the challenges in attaining them, the high school counseling department devoted a period of advisory time to the topic. Danford Chang, Director of Counseling, says that the key takeaway for students is to start, “learning about oneself, how to be their best healthy self, and the person God created them to be, is just as important as learning algebra, how to write, historical facts, or newton’s law, etc…if not more important.” 

Senior Amanda Warren said that this lesson on goal setting helped her realize that  goals need to be within her limitations and reasonable. In response, Warren decided to reassess her goals and see if she is being too ambitious. Classmate Kisa Tamai believes that setting smaller goals to achieve big ones is crucial in being successful. Senior Kaitlyn Hasegawa, on the other hand, has decided not to set any new goals for the year: “I forget what I had set by the next day.”  

Although senior Aidan Uchimura does not formally write down his goals, he’s made a mental note for this year. At the moment, he is extremely focused on beating the current record for the state bench press competition. His strategy is all about discipline. “No matter what time it is, I will go to the gym and practice because time is precious,” he said. The competition will take place in March. 

For those who have decided to do away with resolutions or goal setting entirely, Chang has this insight to offer: “For the person that says “I’m too lazy to”, I would say not making resolutions or setting goals is actually making a resolution itself. You are essentially making a resolution to not even take a small step towards becoming the person that God created you to be or that you want to be. It’s human nature to stay content and [keep the] status quo. Setting a goal helps us to explore our potential and continue to grow… taking the time to reflect and envisage the product is a healthy thing to regularly practice.” Chang hopes for students to be able to progress and grow as individuals no matter how big, small, long, or short the adventure is. He added that as long as students recognize that it takes time and effort to reach their desired end goal, they have taken a big step towards growth.