Ask Emma: To do New Year’s resolutions or to not?

As the New Year has begun, you may feel an immense amount of pressure to complete all your goals overnight. I am here to tell you that is exactly what you should not do.



Tired of setting New Years resolutions and seeing them fall through? Read to find out how to have attainable goals.


Editor’s Note: Even though Emma Ledbetter has graduated, The Daily Evergreen has decided to continue the Ask Emma segment with a new author in honor of our friend Emma and all the people she has helped.

Dear Emma,

2023 feels like it is already crawling away from me. I have so many goals and aspirations I want for this year, but I can’t seem to take the pressure off myself to complete them all at once. How should I go about my goals this year? 


Stressed about the New Year


Dear Stressed about the New Year,

I have a solution for you: you don’t have to have New Year’s resolutions this year! I am sure each year you set similar goals for yourself; have you noticed that they aren’t being met as the next year rolls around? 

That may be due to various reasons, like your resolutions are half-hearted, your resolutions are something you think you “should” be doing, or you’re not giving enough thought into your goals to actually make them happen. 

They all say “ditch the diet” and I am telling you to “ditch the resolution.” Now, this may seem counterintuitive, but I have another idea for you instead: create New Year’s themes in your life. Things that you would like to do but on a theme basis.

You may be thinking, “Well, what is a News Year’s theme?” It’s the idea that you can use specific ideas that are well-rounded and flexible in your day-to-day life.

As college students, we all know things tend to get in the way of our goals sometimes — whether it’s a huge essay getting in your way of hitting the gym that week or the snow getting in the way of getting to your classes. The idea of a theme is to set numerous goals within it and knock them out throughout the year.

My first example of a theme is to have daily fulfillment. This looks different for everyone; for me, daily fulfillment might be utilizing the UREC lap pool and getting myself back into swimming. However, some days that might not be possible, so I could shift the theme of daily fulfillment and instead check out one of WSU’s student organizations.

What I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to have the goal to “swim laps every day” or “attend a new club,” but rather do something that fulfills your day, and that may look different every day. 

Another theme you may incorporate is the word “balance.” You may try to apply balance to the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual parts of your life. For physical health, it could look like exercising or nourishing your body properly. Your emotional balance could be taking time to help a friend or saying “yes” to them even if you don’t feel up to it. Mental balance may be taking a day for yourself and spiritual balance may be listening to a podcast or writing a few things you are grateful for. 

Overall, what I am trying to say is that creating a bunch of New Year’s resolutions can be overwhelming and anxiety-provoking. So, coming up with themes that are flexible in your day to day may be just the answer for you to live your dream life. 

Good luck and happy New Year!