It is officially mid-January, which, for most of us, means we have already started to stray from the lofty New Year's resolutions we set for ourselves at the beginning of the month. Life kicks in, and we begin feeling distant from the overly ambitious person who committed to eating healthier, exercising more and studying harder.
According to Joseph Luciani of US News, 80% of people give up on their resolutions by February. He puts a name to the reason why we become overly zealous every January, calling it "holiday remorse."
"It's the guilt driven-response you have holiday excess that becomes the catalyst for those New Year's resolutions and intentions," said Luciani.
This is why during the first weeks of January the gym is crowded, the produce aisle is sparse and your roommates stop leaving their dishes in the sink.
While eating healthier and exercising regularly are the first things that come to mind when someone brings up their New Year's resolutions, people also create rather unique goals for themselves. According to Howard Bennet of The Washington Post, "The tradition of making New Year's resolutions began during the reign of Caesar. At the time, New Year's resolutions were of a moral nature, such as being kind to others."
Today, Americans continue to reflect and set goals at the end of every year. At Mississippi State University, this is no different.
Dean of Students Thomas Bourgeois has sorted out his resolutions for 2020 into a work and family category.
He says for his family resolution, he wants to be fully present and not dwelling on work when he is around family.
"We all are part of the environment in higher education that never stops, and with that comes tragedy, sorrow and hardships that don't follow traditional work hours and can happen at any moment. But there has to be a balance, so I am trying to focus on being less selfish when family priorities arise and not letting ever-present work demands steal time I can never get back," Bourgeois said.
In regards to his work, he is seeking to be more comfortable with change and embrace new ideas.
"My work resolution is to seek more patience and understanding and let things play out. Patience to pause more and allow newcomers in the room to foster new ideas and also allow room for decision making," Bourgeois said.
Bourgeois has a very positive opinion of New Year's resolutions.
"Resolutions are typically grounded in a self-awareness and coming to grips that we need to improve things about ourselves and ultimately be less selfish," Bourgeois said.
William Hunter Jarrell, or "Billy," is a senior majoring in biological engineering at MSU. Instead of making resolutions for the entire year, he makes resolutions for the month of January.
"When I make a New Year's resolution now, I usually end up making one for the month of January. I think I am capable of having a resolution and sticking to it for a month. So my goal is to make it to the end of the month and then maybe make a new one," Jarrell said.
Jarrell revealed his resolutions.
"For this year, I want to do 200 push-ups a day, regardless of any other exercising. I also want to be able to do the splits—that would be crazy cool. There's a weird handstand thing I'd like to be able to do," Jarrell said.
Jarrell also intends to read his Bible more this decade than he did the last.
Corinne Kennedy, the humanities librarian at the Mitchell Memorial Library, prefers to make her resolutions more specific and goal-oriented.
"They usually have something to do with a project I need to get done and not necessarily an urge to turn over a new leaf. I think resolutions are good when you have a goal you know you can achieve," Kennedy said.
This year is no different, as Kennedy revealed her project for 2020.
"I want to get a scholarly article published. I have been working on it since before I left for England back in the fall. It is on visual literacy and communication and the publication patterns since 1969," Kennedy said.
Whether your goals are specific or general, for the entire year or for the month of January, rest easy knowing you are in good company at MSU.