New Year’s Resolution Tradition Refreshed with New Creativity

Making a promise to yourself that you will be better than you were the year before is a quintessential part of the New Year’s festivities. Jamesville-DeWitt High School is no exception to this tradition, but many are putting their own creative spins on New Year’s resolutions.

The tradition of resolutions goes back all the way to 4,000 years ago in ancient Babylon. During Akitu, their New Year’s celebration, they would make promises to their gods to repay debts and return borrowed items, in hopes that the gods would look favorably upon them for the next year. They thrived all throughout history, being prominent in ancient Rome and the Middle Ages as well. Resolutions became more common in the 1600s, and the tradition was widely adopted in the US in the early 1800s, with the term “New Year’s resolution” first appearing in a Boston newspaper in 1813.

But what about the trend right now? About 40 percent of Americans make resolutions nowadays, with health being a common theme following the Christmas holiday. According to travel brand Trafalgar, some of the most common resolutions in 2020 were to: eat healthier, exercise more, lose weight, save more money/pay off debt, learn a new skill or hobby, travel more, watch less TV, read more, find a new job, volunteer with a charity, start a business, quit smoking, drink less alcohol, and spend more time with family and friends.

A common theme amongst the staff of J-DHS is that they feel it’s very difficult to stick to resolutions for more than a few weeks into the new year. Health teacher Mrs. Moore is taking this into her own hands. For the past 3 years, instead of making a resolution she knows she won’t stick to, she chooses a word to guide her year. She also likes to focus on things that make her a better human, like painting kindness rocks and leaving them for people to find, or donating items or time to charities. She has not come up with a word yet for 2021, but she can be confident she will follow it.

Math teacher Mrs. Wood echoes this sentiment. She doesn’t like to make resolutions. Instead, she enjoys taking time to reflect at the beginning of each year.  She understands the value of setting resolution-like goals, however, and she says she would like to exercise consistently, eat healthier, and be kinder to those around her.

Guidance counselor Mrs. LeStrange recognizes the importance of taking care of herself, and many people craft resolutions that center around self-care.  Mrs. LeStrange plans to do some things for herself every day in 2021, such as taking a walk in nature, taking an online class, engaging in creative activities, doing yoga, or organizing/decluttering.

Eating healthy seems to be a trend among New Year’s resolutions. Science teacher Mrs. Raicht says she has been snacking too often and eating a plethora of junk food during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sophomore Ali Mobeen shares this goal. I’m sure most people can relate.

Many students and staff strive to decrease their stress levels in 2021. RamPage advisor and English teacher, Mr. Phillips would like to work on keeping his priorities straight and not getting overwhelmed by little things he doesn’t have control over. Senior Michael Bratslavsky agrees wholeheartedly with Mr. Phillips, as he says he wants to stop stressing out about little things in life.

Additionally, many are considering the detriments technology may have on us humans.  Sophomore Hannah Fuchsberg is committed to spending more time reading and less time on her phone.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shackled most people to their homes and away from social life. It has also grounded sports and physical activities for many. For 2021, many are making resolutions to get back to their gyms, or to resume their athletic activities. Sophomore Nathan Warren-Faricy’s resolution is to keep up with his cross country team by running a 5k in just 20 minutes and 30 seconds.

Isaiah Steinberg, '23
Isaiah Steinberg is a senior at J-DHS. He is the Standards Editor and News Editor for the RamPage. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with friends, playing with his half-brother, or sleeping.