Are you ready for lots of gifts, cool pajamas, ugly sweaters, eggnog and great food? Well, have no fear; Christmas is right around the corner! Christmas is an important time those who celebrate it create special memories with the people they love, talk about the year, and of course, consume copious amounts of great food. And what comes right after Christmas? Thats right, New Years. Due to the high consumption of food during the holidays, even dating back to Thanksgiving, many people often make the resolution to lose weight and stay fit in the New Year. The question is: how long do these popular New Year’s resolutions actually last?

As the year comes to an end, you begin to reflect on the choices you’ve made. You start to wonder what you could have done differently and how you can improve for the upcoming year. You convince yourself that you’ll become a vegetarian, only eat protein filled-food, cancel out bread and pasta, drink less alcohol, or go to the gym every single day. But are these goals really realistic? To achieve goals such as these, it involves mental readiness and discipline. Simply stating that you will do these things without actually considering what it entails is impractical.

According to Nielsen Holdings PLC, a global information, data, and measurement company, the number one New Year’s resolution is to stay fit and healthy, with 37% of people saying that this is their goal. Following this is losing weight as number two, in which 32% of people have proclaimed this as their goal for the new year. These are very high percentages of people who declare they will change their lifestyles and change their body image, but how many of these people really succeed?

According to the Huffington Post, only 8% of people actually stick to their New Year’s resolutions throughout the year. A lot of people tend to underestimate their ambitious goals. They begin to embody the new them, but after a few days or months of understanding the difficulty involved with changing their lifestyle, many of them give up and resort back to their old habits.

A large misconception about New Year’s resolutions is that you will definitely stick to them. “New year, new me,” is a classic cliché statement that people overuse. It is perfectly fine to want to become the best person you possibly can be, but it takes a lot of self-control and motivation to keep up with these demanding resolutions. Staying healthy and losing weight are difficult, especially when you are used to eating whatever you want or not going to the gym as often as you could. Resolutions like these take time, serious planning, commitment, and a lot of self-control.

If you want to make a New Year’s Resolution to change your lifestyle, make sure you are ready to accept the challenge that comes along with it. You can do anything you put your mind to, and I hope that you consider this when deciding your own resolution this year. Happy holidays!

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My name is Elana Williams-Leonard and I am a Junior at Bryant University. My major is Literary and Cultural Studies with a concentration in Applied Psychology. My minors are Business Administration, Communication, and Africana/Black Studies. I am a member of many organizations, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, MyPath, and the Multicultural Student Union. I am very interested in educating young people about diversity, culture, and acceptance in the world.