Resolve to be a better person in 2014

The new year provides a perfect opportunity to work toward accomplishing a new goal or longtime ambition

RESOLUTION — Choosing a single goal will result in better chances of completion by the year’s end. Photo credit: Breann Black

RESOLUTION — Choosing a single goal will result in better chances of completion by the year’s end. Photo credit: Breann Black

2013 was a crazy year.

It was a year of accomplishment. It was a year a failure. It was a year of compassion, and it was a year of pain.

It was a year in which Nelson Mandela reminded us through his passing that peace and kindness can fight oppression. It was a year in which Pope Francis taught us all about living in love.

It was also a year in which our government spent 16 days unable to perform its duties and a year in which Miley Cyrus taught us how to destroy a clean public image.

The funny thing about life is that time never stops moving. Clocks never stop turning. Whether you are ready for it or not, life has brought us into a new year: 2014.

It seems like every time a new year rolls around, people become very motivated and make resolutions, such as running every day this year, not drinking any soda or studying on a more regular basis.

The problem with most of our resolutions is they are practically unattainable. They set us up to fail. And when we make resolutions without having the proper endurance or motivation to follow through, we end up breaking them.

A University of Scranton study showed that, while nearly 50 percent of Americans made New Year’s resolutions in 2013, only eight percent actually followed through to accomplish them.

But the study also showed that people who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to accomplish their goals than people who do not. So do not be discouraged. Goals and resolutions are good things. We just need to figure out how to make them successful. I think that starts with focus.

Instead of making a bunch of overreaching resolutions this year, we should all try to stick to one special goal. One resolution that will define our year, one that we can be proud of once the year is over.

Everyone is different, so everyone might have a different goal, but what is important is that you have that one accomplishment this year that you will strive for with reckless abandon.

Do you lack confidence? Speak louder. Stand up straighter. Walk like you have a purpose. Look people in the eye.

Are you shy? Force yourself to meet three new people a week. Start conversations with classmates that you have not talked to before.

Ask that girl out to dinner. Drop that guy a hint. How much do you have to lose, and how much more do you have to gain? Life is moving on, and the best things will rarely be handed to you. Do not live your life wondering what would have happened if you had had more courage.

Be brave. Step out of your comfort zone. Experience new things with new people, even if you would normally shy away.

Spending the next year trying to master any of these things would be worth it, and you might just look back at the end of 2014 happy that you found one specific way to better yourself.

So find that goal this year, grab hold of it and ride it to success. There will always be more to work on next year.

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