New Year, New You?

By Matthew Acosta, Jan. 23, 2024

The start of the new year leads with Cal Poly Pomona students heading down to the BRIC, purchasing all the journals and planners at Target or stacking the lines at Barnes and Noble .

With the anticipation of a new beginning, CPP students ask the question, “is setting a New Year’s resolution even worth it?”

“Absolutely,” said CPP stress management professor Alane Daugherty. “If it’s doable and if you are committed and passionate to make it work because otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure and it could be worse than if you had never started.”

Daugherty’s stress management course covers creating short and long-term goals to help students throughout their time in college.

“The timing needs to match what the goal is,” said Daugherty. “It could be a full-year goal, it could be that you want to make this life change, but I am going to measure it in increments. It doesn’t need to only be a yearlong, but you can break it down to small steps to make it an achievable goal.”

According to , studies have shown that out of the 41% of people throughout the country who make New Year resolutions, only 9% successfully kept their resolutions.

The leading obstacle is the lack of preparation when creating a goal, whether that be the absence of careful planning or dedication to the goal.

International business student Carolina Rivera fell victim years prior when she would quickly toss together a resolution at the last minute. She wanted to make sure this year was different and

“For previous years I will say New Year’s Resolutions were more of an afterthought,” said Rivera. “I think this year was more intentional purpose behind my thought process going into the new year. I thought about what I lacked and what I wanted to see myself do more of and really prioritize me.”

Daugherty outlines a way for people looking to add to the nine percent of successful resolutions by using the acronym SMART.

She states that New Year’s resolutions or any goal that a person make needs to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-appropriate.

According to Forbes, the top four New Year’s resolutions are to improve fitness, finances, mental health and spend time with more family.

Many of the typical issues is the goals are tossed together last minute which could lead to flaws in the process that students need to take. Business student Larissa Domingo attempted checkpoint goals throughout last year in which she gave up Tik Tok each month but has made some modifications to this year’s resolution.

“I didn’t really like that because I didn’t like giving things up, but this year I am trying to try something new each month,” said Domingo. “This month I am going to be trying to go on more hikes in order to be intentional in making new memories and experiences.”

This type of resolution falls under the short-term goals Daugherty encourages during her classes to keep the passion for the goals set.

Throughout her time both at CPP and away, Daugherty has studied the science of goal setting and hopes that students can grow and learn to create goals that can impact the positive in their lives.

“This is something near and dear to my heart,” said Daugherty. “I like to see people grow but, at the same time, if they beat themselves up in the process because they pick things that aren’t appropriate or don’t set themselves up for success then the emotional impact is worse.”

Feature image courtesy of Tim Mossholder 

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