Youth Voice – Setting goals for the new year

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IT is pretty much that time of the year again. Resolutions were made, resolutions quickly broken.

New Year’s resolutions seem to have a bit of a trend of being broken very early on.
Although, it’s understandable why anybody would evoke the tradition, it plays well with the idea of New Year being a time of rebirth and new beginnings – an opportunity to improve and become better than who you were last year.

Yet, there always seems to be difficulty for a person to be able to complete a self-imposed goal. It’s obvious that people are more inclined to the idea of setting a goal then the actual execution of the goal.

People are more likely to complete tasks that they enjoy.
Which is an obvious statement at first but think about it in the context of reaching a self-imposed goal.

If you want to go to the gym and get into shape, would you enjoy the exercising part itself?

If not, then is there any way to alter the method so that it does becomes more enjoyable?

Maybe, you come to the realisation that you’re not all that passionate about the goal.

As I was growing up, I have made multiple attempts at being active, trying multiple sports and trying to work out by myself, but I always eventually let it drop off my schedule. I lacked the personal investment in the struggle of improving, making me wonder if those goals were ultimately artificial for me.

Goals are inherently idealistic. They are based on the ideals that are placed upon you by your environment and your upbringing. In order to make a goal you need to be able to hold an image in your mind on what that end goal looks like and you can only do that if you base it off something else.

The reason why I used the “go to the gym” example earlier is because it is the most common New Year resolution people make and fail. It’s also the most interesting to think about from psychological and societal perspective.

Lisa Minten
Trident High School

Our ideas of what “healthy” and “fit” looks like are heavily influenced by advertisements, pop culture, and social norms. By influencing the “ideal image”, you can influence the vision of what the end goal is meant to be and thusly the expectations you place upon yourself.

I look back and I realise that while being one of the slowest people in class, I was always comparing my strength to others. Even if my peers didn’t mean to, I always felt lesser than them physically.

The ideal I started to strive for was to always beat somebody, “to be better than somebody”, and then get frustrated at myself for not beating my own expectations.

Now that I’m more mature I want to slap my past self for being such a jerk and tell her that she’ll be happier if she focused her spare time on doing something she actually enjoys doing.

It is good to focus on a goal, but a goal should also be relevant and meaningful to you or else you keep putting it off. Giving up on a goal feels terrible but I know personally that sometimes it is okay to let go of your dreams.

I grew up, hopefully a lot humbler, to learn that not everything I want to be is a path reachable by me. I kept losing sight of what I was really passionate about.

But I want to keep on trying. To achieve something with my life that was on my own initiative and that I know that I can become great at.

Lisa Minten

Contributed