Wednesday marks the end of the national Get Organized month and probably the end of many New Year’s resolutions made in the wee hours of Jan. 1.
Recent studies show though, that perhaps sticking to that resolution to exercise more, eat healthier or read the Bible more frequently is not as simple as having strong willpower. Forty to 45 percent of Americans make at least one resolution at the beginning of the year. By February, only 60 percent of those people are still following through.
Psychologists from Waterloo University have studied the way humans make decisions. They found that the ability to follow through with a decision or resolution has almost nothing to do with willpower or IQ, and everything to do with the way a person’s brain is wired.
Don’t be discouraged if you skip three days of exercising, lose your homework for the second time this week or eat that donut you promised yourself you were avoiding. Not everyone was made to keep resolutions every time.
It is the people who have the cognitive skills to say green when the word actually says red but is the color green that are more likely to stick through with their resolutions without relapse by February, a Newsweek article reported Tuesday.
The point is that you actually make a resolution or goal. Goal setters are 10 times more likely to achieve that goal than those that don’t set goals.
Here are the top five goals for college students in 2007:
5. Lose my freshman 15. The average college student gains between 5-25 pounds during their first year away at college. Take advantage of one of three exercise facilities located on campus for an affordable price, or sign up at one of Abilene’s gyms for specialized classes like cycling and kick boxing.
4. Cut up my credit card. In 2001, 83 percent of college undergraduate students owned at least one credit card and had at least $3,000 debt in credit cards alone. Adults 18-25 typically don’t make good decisions regarding money, and having a credit card while in college doesn’t help. Use a credit card for emergency purposes only, or get into the habit of paying it off completely each month.
3. Attend class. Students today find it difficult to regularly attend class each day, even though they could attend class full-time in high school and participate in extracurricular activities. Getting a college degree can make the difference in being hired in the future. Don’t cut yourself short by being lazy in college.
2. Pay attention in class. Although laptop computers may be a blessing for taking notes, many students found that having their computer in class just helped them to tune out the professor to play games or surf the Internet. Not every class will be invigorating. Realize that you only have this chance to learn once so take advantage of everything you can soak up.
1. Prepare for life after college. Senior students found when graduating that they didn’t feel prepared enough to enter the work force because of a lack of resume writing and interview skills. Meet with career specialists in the Office of Career and Academic Development to learn how to spruce up your resume and prepare for interviews.
If nothing else, know that everyone will slip up one or more of their resolutions during the year. Just don’t give up in January. Who knows, this may be the year to get in shape, get out of debt and make something of yourself.