MURPHY: New Year’s Resolutions

For years, people have declared an intent to better themselves at the turn of a new year. These “New Year’s resolutions” can range anywhere from being a nicer person, to quitting a bad habit.

Nearly a month into the new year, the initial buzz of it is beginning to wear off and we are all beginning to fall into old habits. I went to the gym once and basically said to myself, “Next year is the year.”

Let’s be honest: New Year’s resolutions are like giving stuff up for Lent without fear of repercussions from a higher power. The only person you are letting down is yourself and even that only lasts for a few days.

That is why I propose to rid our society of New Year’s resolutions. Sure, they work out with some people, but what is it about the new year that prompts people to decide to change? I understand that to many it marks a “clean slate,” but why can’t we have a clean slate every Monday?

New Year’s resolutions are just an excuse to maintain a bad habit for a longer period of time and the idea of them comforts us into making bad habits even worse. They are like free passes on life that allow us to endure our unhealthy lifestyles.

So here is a list of cliché New Year’s resolutions that usually don’t pan out:

  1. Get into shape: As a senior, I am not only in my fourth year of college, but my fourth straight year of vowing to get back into shape during the new year. This year, I went to the gym once. Clearly, I was not the only person with this idea because there was barely room to stand. After about 20 minutes, I decided that next year was the year.
  2. Quit drinking/smoking/drugs: First of all, if you are so heavily into drinking, smoking or drugs that you need to give them up, maybe you shouldn’t wait until the new year to go cold turkey. If you are a light drinker, smoker or drug user (not that I am condoning any of these activities), then fine, you can wait until the new year to give them up. But if not, you might want to get a head start.
  3. Be a nicer person: This one is stupid because it’s so subjective. The only person who determines whether or not you are a nicer person is yourself. If you are such a mean person that you need to make a resolution to be a nicer person, you’ll probably just lie to yourself and continue to be mean. That’s right — I’m looking at you, Timmy.
  4. Do better in school: Just do well from the start and you won’t need to worry about this one.
  5. Find a new hobby: I really do respect people who fulfill this resolution, but usually it just results in a guitar gathering dust in your room or a tennis racket being used for reasons other than tennis.
  6. Work for The Marquette Tribune: I’m just kidding.
  7. Find a way to go to Pandora and live among the Na’vi: Did anyone see Avatar? This cinematic experience made me realize (a) how much Earth sucks. And (b) that I can never watch a movie again without being disappointed it isn’t Avatar. I want to go there…

So instead of waiting for the new year to make these drastic life changes, let’s all just take the bull by the horns and make them now — not 11 months from now. That way, we will all be nicer, healthier, fitter, smarter and maybe, taller and bluer.