Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press


School Delayed in response to COVID-19 until April 24


Spring Sports seasons delayed


AP Tests have moved online

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: No feed found.

Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to create a feed.

New Year, new me …or not

2023 has come to an end, and with 2024 comes a new start. It is time to get the life you’ve always wanted, and with a strict plan that will definitely be upheld for the rest of the year, what better time is there to start than the new year? In no time you will become unrecognizable, because this year you will be sticking to your resolutions, even if all the previous years the resolutions you scribbled down as the clock hit midnight have ended up in the trash or forgotten somewhere in your house. I mean, new year, new me, right?

Wrong. In theory, this seems like a great time to start working on self-improvement, but it is incredibly unrealistic. According to Fisher College of Business, only 9% of people stick to their resolutions for the whole year, with nearly half of people quitting within a month. If you are one of those 9%, I applaud you, and if you are the other 91%, it is important to realize that the blame for not keeping your resolutions isn’t solely on you.

Many companies jump at the chance to market their product, promising to completely turn your life around in the hopes of making up for the lack of revenue that hits companies in January. The influx of ads showcasing new money management apps or 14-day juice cleanses is not being made for your benefit but instead for the company’s profit. These ads set out to target hopeful individuals and have them buy their product or program, using the promise of a quick path to reach a resolution as a way to entice the potential customer. The plans often focus on extreme solutions with a complete upheaval of previous habits, which is difficult to sustain, leaving you likely to fail.

In addition to this, resolutions often focus on outcomes instead of the process. Whether it is getting 6-pack abs or clearer skin, the resolution centers around what will happen at the end, and this isn’t very sustainable and leaves no plan for once you reach the goals. One of the habits I have built is a simple skin care routine that I’ve incorporated into my day. This didn’t come from a resolution centered around getting rid of acne, and I think that is much of the reason I’ve kept up with it for nearly four years. Your skin, along with the rest of your physical appearance, will fluctuate from day to day, and focusing on obtaining a specific look or physique is near impossible as the human body continues to change, especially during one’s teenage years.

One of the main goals people set for themselves often has something to do with physical appearance. According to YouGov, in 2019, 50% of those who set resolutions had one about exercising more. This is no surprise to me, as once January rolls around, my usual advertisements for movies or gadgets swiftly change to a new 31-day wall pilates program or gym membership deals. These ads often follow the usual patterns mentioned above and result in the eager new fitness bunny being set up for failure. Not only are these programs a waste of money, they also contribute to the ever-prominent diet culture. There are so many different things that could be focused on for self improvement – spending more time on self-care, getting out of the house more often, finding a new hobby – and yet, this obsession with getting an early start on your “summer body” or getting toned promotes the idea that physical appearance is the most important and that a person’s worth is based on the body they are in.

This is especially damaging to teenagers, who are already more likely to struggle with body image issues and disordered eating, which has been perpetuated by the idolization of people in smaller bodies in the media. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with exercising – in fact, it has a whole host of benefits – the messaging and motivation behind exercising is often negative and contributes to negative self-perception.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have an exercise-related New Year’s resolution. There are plenty of resolutions that you can set that will benefit you physically without possibly damaging your mental health. My sibling is a bit of a gym bunny, and when I asked them what their resolution was, they said they wanted to be able to do a pull-up. This is a great resolution of something that can be worked towards that is also a realistic goal for their fitness level.

If you too want to have a new year’s resolution related to exercise, all the more power to you. I’d just recommend thinking about what the focus of the goal you are setting is and why you are setting it. There are so many great exercise-related goals that have nothing to do with what your body looks like. If you want to go the fitness route, find a workout you like. Whether it be going for walks or taking up a sport, ease your way into it, and you will find yourself developing a habit that you enjoy in no time. Here’s to 2024!

About the Contributor
Brigitte Potter
Brigitte Potter, Editorial Board Member
Brigitte Potter is a senior at Liberty High School. She is an Editorial Board Member and a Design and Art co-editor for the paper. She is also on the Liberty Drill team. In her free time she enjoys reading and cuddling with her cats.