“Why do people need an occasion to set goals for themselves? Shouldn’t the fact that they have something they want to change be motivation enough?”
It has come that time of year again, that festive time when everybody starts stuffing their stockings and decorating their trees. Kids have time off school, and adults from work. Along with the gift giving and holiday cheer also comes time for serious thought. Once again, it is the time for New Year’s resolutions. People must think of the one thing they are going to do differently in the new year. Whether it is losing weight or finding a job, there is a change that people desire to make in their lives.
After speaking with thirteen different people about their previous New Year’s resolutions of 2011 and their planned resolutions of this coming year, I have heard some interesting things that they had to say. Nineteen year old, Samandeep Sahota explained that her resolution last year was “to go to all of my classes, during the end of the semester I start to skip a lot of lectures”. Upon asking if she had fulfilled her promise, Sahota replied with “for the most part. I mean, I probably should have made a more realistic resolution since I forced myself to go to classes when they really weren’t necessary or when I was sick.”
Sahota was not the only one who dreaded last year’s resolution. Twenty-three year old, Bhaven Kapadia, explained that his resolution last year was to gain weight and become more fit. “My resolution was more frustrating than it was motivating”, he explained. “When I got through half the year and realized that I still hadn’t reached my goal, I just gave up. I think that New Year’s resolutions just give people high expectations that disappoint them when they aren’t reached.” I asked Kapadia what his resolution would be this year, he replied with “nothing, I don’t really think I accomplished anything this year, it’d be pointless for me to try again.”
Surprisingly, not everyone viewed their New Year’s resolutions as negatively as Sahota and Kapadia. Adarsh Kaur, forty-five year old woman, explained that her resolution last year had been achieved. “I wanted to spend more time with my husband and son. I find that I work a lot and with my son graduating high school soon, I should devote more of my time to him.” Kaur explained that her resolution was quite well thought out as she was able to fulfill it, and it benefitted her family and herself. Besides Kaur, another person who provided me with positive feedback was fifty year old, Joga Riar. “My main goal of the New Year was to volunteer more around my city when I got the time.” Riar continued to explain that his resolution proved to be both rewarding to himself and helpful to his community. “Resolutions should be a reflection of who you are as a person. As long as you want to achieve something that is meaningful to you, you should have no problem fulfilling them.”
Hiren Rangunwala and Neil Khatri both had similar resolutions last year; to do well in school and on tests. Rangunwala, twenty-three year old male, was concerned with passing his United States Medical Licensing Examinations to get placement after completing medical school. “The pressure was so high”, Rangunwala explained. “Since I’d made it my New Year’s resolution to get placement, I guess that I had more motivation to study harder. I didn’t want to let myself down. Once I got the notice that I’d done well on my tests and would be starting my rotations, I attributed my success to my resolution.” Like Rangunwala, eighteen year old Khatri explained that the most worrying thought he had last year was whether or not he would make it into the university of his choice. The difference between these two individuals is that Rangunwala gave the credit of his achievement to his resolution, whereas Khatri explained that “the resolution was just there as a guide, I know that I accomplished my goal on my own merit and hard work.”
Not only did people tell me about what their resolutions were last year, they also revealed to me their resolutions for this coming year. Twenty year old, Janki Kapadia, explained that although she did not have a New Year’s resolution last year, she made one for 2012. “I really need to learn to cook. I never thought it was necessary before when I lived with my brother and parents because I always had people to do it for me. I think the ability to cook is an essential skill for one to have if they are living on their own.” Kapadia is not the only one wishing to make a change involving food. Twenty year old Manpreet Jhass also has a food related desire. “I need to eat healthier. Whenever I come home from work or class, I just grab whatever I can get my hands on. Chips, soda, cookies, anything really.” Jhass recognizes that there are many people who wish to lose or gain weight. “I don’t necessarily hope to lose weight. I just want to live a healthier lifestyle.”
Fifteen year old Simran Uppal has made her resolution far from anything relating to food. Uppal explains that her one goal is to control her temper. “Lately I’ve noticed that I get angry really easily, especially with my older brother. My anger makes everyone in my family stressed out so I think I should learn to control it. For a teenager, Uppal seems to be quite sensible, a lot more than I was at her age.
Parag Khatri, at thirty years of age, is making his New Year’s resolution all about his personal life. “I think I need to settle down”, stated Khatri. “I need to stop focusing so much on going out to parties, and focus more on my career.” Twenty-four year old Bindya Bhundia, like Khatri, defined the importance of her career. “I don’t know what to make my New Year’s resolution this year. I think it should involve me finishing school and starting my career, though. I’ve been in school for over twenty years, I think it’s about time I started the next chapter of my life.”
The last person I spoke to about the upcoming New Year was Ram Pyari, seventy-six year old woman. Pyari explained firstly that she does not make resolutions. “Why do people need an occasion to set goals for themselves? Shouldn’t the fact that they have something they want to change be motivation enough?” Pyari’s comment is interesting as it represents a completely different opinion than all others I had spoken to. It is open to interpretation, do you find New Year’s resolutions straining, encouraging, or do you find them needless altogether? Either way, remember to think carefully about what your resolutions will be this year, but in the process, don’t forget to have a Happy New Year.
By: Gagan Batra