Pierce Pioneer

Writer Lizbeth Martinez Santos shares her New Year Resolution and its potential for others to stay motivated during these hard times in 2021.

My boyfriend Victor and I made a plan together that we have followed this week. This plan consists of waking up at 6 in the morning, keeping track of the time and healthy habits such as cleaning, doing homework, drinking water, eating and exercising on schedule. This is our New Year resolution.

For many people, New Year’s resolutions are a goal or something you tell yourself you want to accomplish that year. To me it’s more than a goal; it’s a promise, something I will do. It’s not going to stay in a closed book, I will open it and fill it up with each step taken. So let’s start together!

With the right resources and people by your side, you can accomplish anything. I am no professional, but one thing we all need this year is motivation. Rather than leaving our goals in a closed book, let’s open them and fill it with each step we take! You are not alone. I write this for you because I want you to know you’re not alone just like I am not. 

2020 has taken too much from all of us and brought so much loss. According to UAB Medicine, only 8% or less Americans actually stick to their resolution each year, 2020 being partly the blame. In another article published by Stanford Medicine, it explains that due to COVID-19 many people have been having symptoms of depression and anxiety. This is due to a number of reasons, ranging from the loss of a loved one or job, to schools being closed due to the pandemic.

Knowing this information gives me more motivation to keep on going with my resolutions, to improve my health and give others an opportunity to make their own resolutions and accomplish them.

Having something or someone to remind you why you’re doing this and to push you so you keep doing it truly helps. I say this because for me personally the only reason I haven’t given up is because of Victor. 

He is my person, the one who gives me motivation to keep pushing myself. The main reason I created this resolution was to find myself again; I have lost who I was these past years due to my worsening depression and anxiety, as well as my own short-comings getting the best of me. 

Yet because of certain people in my life I was able to get back up and take control of my life again. This plan has helped me realize that I have more time than I thought to do everything I need for school or work. To organize myself to give me time to focus on my health as well.

Not only did I get happier from the plan I made. I learned from this article called, The Science of Motivation. It states that motivation not only gives us support but it’s a chemical in our brains that helps us more than we know. This chemical is called Dopamin. When we perform a task before rewarding oneself, it tells our brain that if we finish this task something good will happen. Which then goes to our whole body.

You can do so much, the first step is believing in yourself and that it’s ok to be vulnerable and to ask for help. This is one reason why I stayed on the path I am now, I kept on pushing myself to show that I am better than others think I am. I asked and looked for help, which just encouraged me more

I know times are tough right now but if you believe in yourself and push through. The results will be worth it trust me, I feel so much better and happier now that I am active and finishing my work on time. I am more organized than I was before, by putting my health before anything else made me feel so much different in a good way.

Some days are bad, and I feel like giving up. But what pushes me to succeed is knowing I am not the only one. I will keep on going to help you and give you the motivation to get up and do what you always wanted to do but never did because you thought you couldn’t. Well you can and will!

 

How to stay motivated in keeping and achieving your New Year’s Resolutions

How+to+stay+motivated+in+keeping+and+achieving+your+New+Year%27s+Resolutions

Set yourself up for success in 2020

It’s the beginning of a new year, which for many people can feel like a fresh start. This is a time when people start setting goals in their life in order to start the year off right. Making New Year’s resolutions has been a tradition people take part in all around the world for years.

However, although telling yourself that you will exercise everyday, or cut out sugary drinks may sound simple, it is often hard for people to stay true to their goals for very long. According to Business Insider, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. 

This especially rings true in college students. Many students living a busy lifestyle have a hard time finding time or motivation to stay true to their goals outside of school, work, friends, and family. With keeping a few strategies and tips in mind, anyone can stay motivated to keep their New Year’s resolution all year long.

First, come up with a reasonable goal. If you spend 3 hours a day watching television, and tell yourself you will only watch 20 minutes of television a day, that goal will most likely not be met for very long. Set reachable expectations in the beginning, and slowly work up to what you hope to achieve. 

Setting a realistic goal comes hand in hand with making that goal as specific as possible. If you say something vague such as, “I want to eat healthier,” your ideas of what constitutes as healthy may change over time. Instead, come up with a plan such as a specific food you will cut out, or a healthy meal you will eat a few days a week.

After you make your goal, you are now ready to start achieving it. Think about what ways you stay motivated in other parts of your life, such as in school or hobbies. You could set an alarm to remind you to exercise in short increments throughout the day, or get a friend to remind you. 

Finally, reward yourself for accomplishing your goals. It’s ok to take time for yourself to celebrate your successes. If you finally get an A in a difficult class, go out with a friend, or buy yourself something new to praise your hard work.

By following these steps, you will find yourself succeeding in keeping your New Year’s resolutions more than you ever have in the past. Things that once seemed impossible to reach, will now become a regular habit in your life. Set 2020 up for a great year from the very beginning.

New Year’s resolutions

2018 illustration
Beatrix Cendana/Contributing Illustration

The new year is close, and plans for the day involve gathering with family and having quality time or just staying home to write resolutions.  New Year’s Day is traditionally time to reevaluate what we have gotten through and accomplished in the previous year. Some people write in their diary and write down resolutions for the new chapter.

It is good to have resolutions, even just one, as it could impact your life in the future. Here are some suggestions for writing down resolutions with passion and a promise to pursue them in the next year.

First, don’t regret or worry about what is in the past because there are still chances to change it in the year ahead. As long as the focus is to keep one’s word to fulfill tasks or goals, it should be good. Some people always feel that they are disappointed because haven’t finished all the things that were decided the year before.

Second, don’t forget to notice the small things that you have accomplished. All things happen from one small thing. Think about it for moment, find some quiet place to do this and take notes if necessary.

Third, we should be willing to change—and that starts from inside the heart. Showing an intention to change is halfway there to accomplish the resolution. For me, time management means commitment and trust in myself. If I have both, I can finish the job in the best time and can enjoy my life freely.

Finally, list all of your resolutions in your notes or diary. You should prioritize which one is the most important and sort them into steps. Remember to put a deadline next to your resolution. If you are still not sure about when to set the deadline, you could leave it and rethink about that.

But when New Year’s comes, you need to write down the deadline following your resolution. Review the notes and read and upgrade it from time to time.

Going over the checklist after you complete your resolutions is helpful by marking what you have completed and continuing to the next part.

Keep in mind that all you need is to believe that finishing well does not always have to mean perfect.

Indonesians mark New Year with fireworks, family gathering

fireworks

Beatrix Cendana/Staff Photo

Fireworks add sparkle to the night sky.

New Year’s is marked as the biggest event in Indonesia with festive events and activities in the celebration.

As Indonesia has its own culture and diversity, they have different kinds of celebrations before New Year’s arrives. People usually visit grocery stores to buy decorations for their houses, like lanterns or small lights. Or others celebrate with their family in their hometown and buy fireworks to enjoy with their siblings or old friends.

Fireworks are everywhere and people celebrate in the big places, like sports fields, malls, even places near their homes. The fireworks last from Christmas Day until New Year’s Eve. They celebrate with fireworks to signify new things that will happen. The fireworks represent the need to make a change and release the past, a tradition that has deep meaning among modern Indonesia. Some people believe fireworks are the inspiration of new life and spirit. Other people say fireworks are necessary to celebrate and hope that new happiness comes into their lives.

Alternately, some people in Indonesia just stay home and have an outdoor barbecue party at their house. They don’t want to celebrate the New Year with fireworks. Or, most people in big cities go to barbecue restaurants as they offer a big discount for the ones who use a credit card to pay.

In addition, at 11 p.m. before the date turns to Jan. 1, people do different things. They believe in writing some resolutions for the future year. They write each other small notes about their weaknesses and strengths then what things they should change and the reasons why. Sometimes the resolutions are read privately after the New Year celebration ends.

Revel in the spark that comes once a year

The small moments create lasting memories

I was looking out the window when I saw it start to snow. That was when I realized it is almost the end of the year.

When the new year coming, I don’t think about the excitement and readiness for a brand-new year or a some new party like in “High School Musical.” Instead, it is all about the fireworks that people light off every year.

I remember how adamantly I loved watching the fireworks when I was young. Always on New Year’s Eve, I never went to sleep, even when my mom shouted at me. One way or another, I often snuck by my mom to go to the balcony to watch the fireworks shows. Even though she had forbidden me to, I would stubbornly sit on the rooftop with my legs swinging down to the ceiling.

It was — and is — the best once-a-year cinema I ever experienced. When the fireworks were shot into the sky, I could not see anything for three or four seconds until they began to beautifully and gorgeously bloom into a sky bouquet. Those few seconds were like a century for a kid like me. Even now, I always appreciated that those three or four seconds are worth waiting for so I can fully enjoy the fireworks. They are something that complete my childhood and myself.

 

"Without the sparks,
fireworks are no longer themselves.
Without those moments,
life is nothing but dull repetition."

 

This year is the 18th New Year’s fireworks that I will watch.

I was and still am surprised that time can actually fly. People say it all the time, but little do they know that it could easily slip through their palms.

In life, we tend to skip by such normal things that are supposed to be repeated over and over again. We think that having a family dinner is normal, showing love to our loved ones is normal, receiving a tap on shoulder or a hug is normal. People do not often appreciate normal things.

I believe life is like the fireworks. Every single spark — none of them is alike and each has its place —  together creating magnificence in the dark sky. It is the same as the small, normal things can create one’s life. Without the sparks, fireworks are no longer themselves. Without those moments, life is nothing but dull repetition. Such ordinary things are priceless details for one’s life memoir.

Life never skips anyone, it is your choice to skip or not to skip when such moments come. Appreciate every moment, your time — and life.

International New Year’s Traditions

A look at New Year’s around the globe

Across the world people welcome the new year by celebrating with their friends and loved ones. All cultures find optimism in the prospect of the coming year, and each culture has their own traditions relating to it.

USA

Many are familiar with America’s New Year's traditions, but very few are familiar with the origins.

Perhaps the most well-known of American New Year’s traditions in the annual ball drop in New York City. Every year in Times Square, a large, decorated ball descends 77 feet on a flagpole at the stroke of midnight Eastern Standard Time.

According to timessquarenyc.org, the first ball drop was hoisted in 1907 with the design made of iron, metal, and 100 25-watt lightbulbs, The creator, an immigrant metalworker Jacob Star, also formed a sign making company which became responsible for lowering the ball.

The ball drop has occurred annually every year since, except for 1942 and 1943, due to World War II. Other states in America have made their own versions of the ball drop, such as Georgia’s “peach drop” in which, a giant replica peach is dropped at the stroke of midnight.

Latin America/Spain

When the Spanish came to America, they influenced the pre-established culture greatly, introducing many New Year’s traditions that are still practiced today.

A common practice is to eat 12 grapes only during the countdown for the new year: one for good luck each month, according to npr.org.

In Mexico, the more superstitious practices of eating lentils the whole day; sweeping toward and dumping a bucket of water outside to expel the ‘bad’ from the household; and wearing special colored underwear for luck, such as red for love and yellow for money are common.

United Kingdom

New Year's celebrations in the UK are rich in area’s history according to projectbritain.com. At the stroke of midnight when Elizabeth Tower’s Big Ben chimes in London, people link hands with their kin and sing “Auld Lang Syne,” an old Scottish song that translates to “times gone by.”

Many years ago, people partook in a tradition, “the first foot,” in which the first person to enter a household would bring coal, bread and money inside to signify good prospects in the coming year. They would take out a pan of ash to signify the end of the last year.

People may also be gifted a Welsh “calennig,” an apple that has been propped up on three sticks and adorned with cloves and dried fruit.

Japan

According to Japan Monthly Web Magazine, in Japan, it is customary to visit a Buddhist temple on the night of Dec. 31. During this time, a large bell will be rang 107 times, and once more after the stroke of midnight, symbolizing the 108 human sins presented in Buddhist belief. Many people wait in line for a chance to ring the bell.

There are many foods that Japanese people also associate with the New Year, such as mochi (sweet rice cake), soba (buckwheat noodle), and osechi-ryori (a meal consisting of many small parts.)

Nigeria

According to 123newyear.com, in Nigeria, New Year’s is truly the time to forget the past with many people taking vows to end rivalries and turn past foes into friends. Also, regardless of one’s faith, prayers are offered to the supreme Lord for the coming year.

The biggest events are annual masquerade parties held on New Year's Eve. The Nigerian people see these lively parties and extravagant costumes as a way to bring good spirit and cheerfulness into the new year.

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