Chris Clark and Daniel Buhrman

The presents are opened, but the holiday season is still going strong. In a few days, people will be donning party hats and popping champagne celebrating the coming of a new year. Some might also celebrate the previous 12 months worth of resolutions fulfilled, failed or ignored? That depends on whether or not resolutions were made in the first place. Press Manager Chris Clark and reporter Daniel Buhrman are here to discuss the merits of making, or not making, New Year's resolutions.

Buhrman: I'll make them, but make them smart

When I was in junior high, one of my classes discussed making SMART goals. I don't remember which class it was in, so I don't know what that means in terms of what I got from that class. But I do remember the idea behind the goals.

SMART stands for specific, measurable, assignable, realistic and time-related. A good goal should consider all of this areas, so resolutions, being goals, should too.

I'll make New Year's resolutions, but I don't make many. One. Two at most. I do my best to make those resolutions SMART, though sometimes I fail. In any case, it helps me stay on track and even if I don't quite make my goal, I can see how close I got and where I can improve.

For instance, in January I decided I wanted to save a certain amount of money. I was specific: save money. I set the amount of dollars I wanted to save, so the goal was measurable. For assignable, obviously I was the one who would complete the goal. I was realistic, taking into account my income and my other financial duties, and I had a time-table, which was a year.

I didn't quite make my money saving goal, but I got close. But even more than fulfilling my New Year's resolution, I improved other financial habits.

That's not to say I was perfect keeping track of my spending habits all year. I wasn't. I did my best to keep track where I spent my money, so I got experience and practice with my budgeting skills. That's a useful skill to have going forward, not just this one resolution.

I'm not a fan of a one-size-fits-all approach for most, maybe all, things, so I understand if some people want to "improve" something for themselves, whatever that means to them. But for me, having this strategy for setting goals helps. And the New Year's countdown, like a bell for Pavlov's dog, is a simple signal for me to make them.

Clark: I'm not making any resolutions

It's that time of year again where everyone is making New Year's resolutions.

Honestly, I really don’t see the point in all of it. I get it. Kind of. I mean a new year, means a new start, but be honest with yourself.

If you want to quit smoking, then by all means quit. If you want to start going to the gym to get in better shape, then do that. But don’t go around setting goals that you aren’t going to do just because everyone one else out there is doing it.

It gets really old every year seeing all the social media posts from all the same people or hearing it from the same people that this is the year that I’m going to change everything in my life to be a better me. I have nothing against you being a better you, but that is something that you should be striving for every day, not just the first two or three weeks of a new year. 

I love seeing the people who are going to do like 10 different things for the new year. Just like anything, don’t over do it. Pick one or two and work for those then if or when you achieve them work on something else.

I think many people put to much into this and that is why, in my opinion, 90 percent fail. You know what, that is OK, too. I have been a smoker for the majority of by adult life. I have quit numerous times, but have always fallen back into it. I don’t see the point in setting up a resolution just to have it backfire because of lack of self control and then feel bad because I said or posted that this is the year that I change everything.

If you really want to do something to better yourself, just do it when you want and not because of feeling like you have to be in the norm of having a New Year's resolution. If I were to make one again this year, it would be the same as the last 15-20 years: I resolve to not make any resolutions. Have a great New Year's.

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