January brings the end of the Christmas season, and with it a combination of excitement and dread for the new year. Then there are those New Year’s resolutions, which we think of as a way to begin anew, a way to help us change something about ourselves for the better.
Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions, but barely any keep them. Studies show that only 8% of the people who make resolutions stick by them the entire year. There are many debates over the reason — lack of willpower, lack of time, commitment issues, too specific or not specific enough.
If you're going to make a New Year's resolution, the most important thing is to ensure that you have a goal you want to achieve that is also manageable. Right now, when COVID-19 plagues the world, setting goals like this can provide a spark in the darkness, something to look forward to.
One New Year’s resolution that you could make is to read more books, or rather, different genres of books. It’s easy to get stuck in one genre and not pick up anything else, but being well-rounded is a good thing. Personally, I am going to try to read more historical fiction in 2022.
Luckily, this is made even simpler if we take advantage of libraries, which sort their books by genres. At Cayman International School, we have both the middle school and high school libraries, which we can use to sort through and find the books we want.
Another New Year’s resolution that can be difficult, but is incredibly rewarding, is to learn a new language. This sounds like a daunting task, but it’s better to split it up into chunks. At Cayman International School, students can take Spanish classes starting from a young age, and they get progressively harder every year. It’s only about an hour per day, but by middle school, most people can speak a fair amount of Spanish.
Maybe you can use your new language during your next trip abroad — something to look forward to when travel becomes less difficult again.
Coming up with New Year’s resolutions is hard, and keeping them is even harder. It’s one thing to think of something to improve about yourself, and another entirely to be able to do it. One way to increase your chances for success is to break your resolution down into smaller, reasonable steps. Accomplish one step and then move on to another step. Each step might not be a lot on its own, but after a few months, you can look back on what you've accomplished with a sense of pride.
This article will also appear in the January 2022 print edition of Camana Bay Times.
About the author
Laia Swaminathan is an eighth grade student at Cayman International School.