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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Promises, Promises!

 
 

During these first few weeks of January, more than 100 million Americans will embark on the long and perilous journey of keeping their bold, and sometimes hastily made, New Year’s resolutions. This road most traveled is marked by promises of losing weight, balancing checkbooks and finding better jobs.
For senior poultry science major Jeremy Hancock, giving up one of his favorite pastimes has become this year’s number one priority.
“My resolution is to quit dipping,” Hancock said. “Basically because it’s not good for me, and it costs a lot of money. It’s a habit I don’t want to have later on in life, especially with graduation coming up and the potential of landing a good job.”
The road to resolution fulfilment isn’t easy for Hancock though.
“It’s been really hard because you get this craving and you don’t know what it is. You drink something like coffee or coke and that’s not it. Then you try eating something and that’s not it either. And then you realize it,” Hancock said, “It’s the nicotine. And you know there’s always going to be that craving.”
Howard B. Kaplan, regents professor of sociology at Texas A&M, feels that self-image is a primary catalyst for change.
“When people don’t feel as good as they hoped, desired or expected, they feel bad about themselves and are motivated to behave in ways that make them more admirable in their own and other’s eyes,” Kaplan said. “This unstable psychological state motivates you to make yourself better by becoming thinner, more successful or more studious.”
People today tend to assess themselves by reflecting upon unfulfilled dreams from the past year and compensating through setting vigorous goals for the upcoming year, Kaplan said.
The end of the year is a time that evokes self awareness; people tend to take stock of themselves,” Kaplain said. “People evaluate themselves in terms of what they did and did not accomplish last year to what they hoped to have accomplished or have become.”
In order to increase motivation and chances of achieving their goals, junior agriculture development major April Day and junior agriculture business major Reed Gombert decided, to make their resolutions together.
“I began slacking off during workouts,” Day said. “Being in college, I became very busy with other things, and I eventually gave up the portion of my day set aside for fitness. By making the resolution together, we support and challenge each other every day.”
Gombert said he decided to become a steady presence at the gym in order to ensure physical improvements throughout the year.
“I want to start the new year by staying consistent in going to the gym everyday,” he said. “Once you stop it is hard to start back up again.
Going even for just a little bit every day keeps me in a routine, helps me to monitor how I eat and makes it easy for me to track my progress.”
According to a recent study conducted by the University of Washington, exercising more often was the most common resolution. Following exercise, devoting more time to study or work, eating healthier food and reducing the use of tobacco, alcohol, caffeine or other drugs rounded off the top four.
“I didn’t make my resolution to spend a certain amount of time in the gym per day, or to lose a particular amount of weight,” Gombert said. “I just decided I would work hard each day even if it is just for a little while. As long as I stay consistent in going I won’t lose any ground.”
The study also found that only 40 percent of people achieved their primary resolution on their first attempt.
Kaplan said that when it becomes obvious they won’t achieve their goals, people begin feeling even worse. He said there are a number of psychological mechanisms that allow people to forget about their resolutions in order to feel better.
“Another need kicks in,” Kaplan said. “The need to justify themselves.
You justify that what you were before was not that bad or what you would become (through the resolutions) is not that good, or even that resolutions are silly.”
Then, of course, there are those who do not even make resolutions.”These people may be pretty well satisfied with themselves, or not terribly introspective, so they don’t bother to make them, or think resolutions are rather trivial,” Kaplan said. “Others avoid making resolutions because they learned in the past that if they make them they will fail.”
In order to reach a goal, students should set at a realistic level each day, Kaplan said.
“People blind themselves to the amount of effort necessary that it would take to reach their standards,” Kaplan said. “They tend to set impossible standards that are unachievable. Instead of your resolution being to lose 50 pounds you should resolve to lose one-half to one pound a week. Just do what you are capable of doing everyday.

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