New Year’s Resolutions: A Fresh Start for Danes


Katie Strickland

Planners are the perfect tool to stay organized. One student writes a reminder that the new year is the time for a fresh start.

Entering the new year is a fresh start for millions each year; the transition acts as a clean slate. Those who long for self-improvement use the opportunity to determine their attitude for the year. Whether that means reading 50 books across twelve long months, creating better personal habits, or coordinating a workout plan, there is a common idea among all of these goals: personal growth. Many tend to use the new year as a time to diminish any previously unhealthy practices and implement healthy habits to increase development.

The second semester of a school year provides the chance for an academic comeback.  Both students and teachers implement better study habits to create as much improvement as possible. To increase student retention rates and make the classroom fun, many teachers use different warm-up activities. One common goal among  students is to use a calendar or planner to structure their schedules.

One senior, Shivani Prasad, has made it her goal to become more organized for the second semester. Although she’s had unsuccessful attempts to keep resolutions, Shivani claims, “In the past, I didn’t have the motivation to continue my goals. This year, I’m hoping to change that.” This phenomenon is all too common; only 9% of participants maintain their goals through the end of the year (SPSP survey). The other 91% lose track of their resolutions due to external factors, such as busy schedules. To avoid this complication, many reward themselves for maintaining order. “I plan on giving myself incentives for keeping up with my resolution to stay organized,” Shivani comments. This motivates individuals to keep themselves accountable and avoids procrastination. 

A student tracks the books they have read. (Katie Strickland)

Aside from the standard academic-based goals, many students use their fresh start to begin practicing healthy habits. This transition opens a door of possibilities for further self-improvement. Senior Anna Julia Costa-Lima is seizing the opportunity to enact new routines. “My first two resolutions are running at least twice a week and hiking once a month,” Anna Julia shares. The opportunity for a new beginning is the perfect time to implement new health-related goals. Not only is exercise effective for physical health, but clearing one’s mind betters mental health.

Additionally, Anna Julia hopes to keep an active, explorative intellect by setting annual reading goals. In January 2022, she hoped to read 100 books by the end of the year. She greatly surpassed this goal by reading 113 books. Anna Julia uses GoodReads as a source of inspiration to maintain her reading goals. She explains, “Using the app to look at all my books at a glance keeps me motivated, which has helped me stay successful.” Anna Julia has been prosperous in her past goals by holding herself accountable and taking note of her progress.

The new year is the primary time for setting intentions. By encouraging personal growth and being optimistic about the year ahead, high schoolers can restore inspiration and aim for achievement.