Don’t Drop That Motivation

Emily Meringolo

Happy New Year’s resolutions month everybody! It’s the time when nothing can stand between you and the better version of yourself, not even the frigid January air. The campus is teeming with excitement to start off the New Year and spring semester on the right foot, and I’m sure you’ve heard countless New Year’s resolutions among friends or at the Bison. If not, take one quick walk through the packed campus gym and you will see hoards of students who have decided this is their year to get in shape. I believe that the New Year’s resolution hype will be over soon enough and that resolutions have an expiration date unless they involve real dedication and motivation.

I am not the first person to be skeptical about these resolutions. This notorious time of the year is criticized time and time again for these “resolutions” or empty promises that fade away by February. Just this week on Saturday Night Live (SNL), there was a musical skit entitled “Resolution Revolution” which featured SNL’s newest cast member Sasheer Zamata (who coincidentally is also the show’s first African American actress), hosted by the musician Drake. The skit pokes fun at the way people’s lofty New Year’s resolutions are easily sidetracked. In the skit, New Year’s Resolution-ers could not resist their hedonistic urges eat unhealthy food or to justify having “just one more” drink. The skit suggested that resolution seekers have a one-track mind and quickly lose sight of their lofty aspirations.

What many people fail to realize is that change and success can be long-term and can happen at any point during the year. Consider the success of Zamata and Drake, for example. Their success came from from hours of consistent dedication and hard work to their craft. Drake is no longer “at the bottom,” as his popular song states, because he is a hard worker. It is self motivation that will propel you to finally becoming the New-Years-resolution version of yourself, not the actual resolutions. As the semester picks up and you busy yourself with work, consider your New Year’s resolution a lifestyle change rather than an unattainable goal. Plus, there are tons of apps and books written to keep you motivated to actually work toward your resolution.

With hard work and dedication, those New Year’s resolutions can transform from things we know we can improve in our lives to actual successes. But if you don’t have the motivation to make a large lifestyle change, don’t be so hard on yourself. New Year’s resolutions often are not in your favor and take significant work to keep up with. I once saw a TED talk that said, “Telling someone your goal makes that goal less likely to happen.” As you get a false sense of being one step closer to your goal or New Year’s resolution, you are less likely to do the hard work required to achieve it. Learn a lesson from Drake: hard work pays off and eventually, you’re “here,” having transformed into the image of your best New Year’s resolution-self.

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