When you read the words "New Year's resolution," what is the very first thing that comes to your mind?
Most teenagers will plead guilty to having their first thought of a resolution being something simple along the lines of "losing weight" or "getting good grades."
It seems like no one really considers putting the effort or time into making a meaningful resolution, and my question for such teenagers is, "Why?" Why not take a quick five or 10 minutes to sit down and actually put some thought into a resolution that could possibly be helpful in the long run?
Resolutions can be big important, general ideas. However, they can also focus in on smaller, detailed aspects of your life. You can make a list of simple things that you feel you can improve on, be it personal morals, values, or things you want to change about yourself, like the way you handle certain situations.
Some don't realize how hard it is to intensely look at every aspect of your life and figure out what it is that you're lacking in or wanting to become better or stronger in. But once you have that figured out, and either memorize it or write it down, you have sort of a freeing feeling knowing you've set a personal goal that will help give you the edge you need to take better control of your current lifestyle.
While 2012 is still young, we asked four Top of Utah teens to take some time and thought and write their own personal resolutions -- things they will try to change over the next few months.
Arturo Coria, a junior at Clearfield High School, said his New Year's resolution was to "appreciate."
He explained, "Well, how many people do you see in the world that can't afford the clothes you wear or the foods you eat? I feel like a lot of teenagers barely even recognize what they have, and barely even say 'thank you' for what they do receive. Teens should think about everything their parents already give them, and shouldn't ask for things they know their parents can't afford.
"We should be grateful our families and friends love us, learn to appreciate what is done for us, and remember lots of people aren't as lucky as some of us that take things for granted. While some teens may be asking for a Play Station 3, there are teenagers out there just asking for a simple piece of bread."
When making New Year's resolutions, Coria said, "I think a ton of people write down or try to remember what it is they want to do for the new year, but never actually complete it! This year I'm bound to actually complete it. I realize after putting thought and time into mine that there is no point in writing or remembering one if you're not going to do it, so I'm going to make it realistic and complete my plan of being more appreciative."
Live for today
It's true that many folks who make resolutions don't actually carry out their goals. You'll find that gyms are packed with the people that "want to lose weight" for the first couple of weeks in the new year, but come the third week, the gym is back to the original people who were there in the first place.
Teens who make general resolutions like that are more likely to lose sight of what it was that was really important about their resolution in the beginning. But those who make a detailed, well thought-out resolution are more eager to strive to achieve their goals.
You are only a teenager once, right? So should we be holding ourselves back with negativity, drama and stress, or shall we embrace our lives as they are and make the best of every possible situation given to us?
As Damonique Clair, a sophomore at Northridge High School, says, "For my New Year's resolution I want to live for today. I don't want to get caught up in the past, or think too much about my future. I want to instead just enjoy the moment and the time I have now with friends and family."
Clair says she will go about this "mainly by placing myself around the people who I love and who love me."
Give it your best
Felipe Benitez, a junior at Clearfield High School, says his resolution is "to become more of a leader" and "to be a greater influence and role model to younger kids."
Carley Fox of Northridge High School has resolved to "put more effort into everything I do."
"I feel like a lot of us do everything halfway, and I definitely find myself guilty of that at times," the sophomore says. "But now with my resolution, I've decided to try my hardest to put all of my very best effort into all of the things I do."
Personally, I have made a lot of resolutions for different aspects of my life, however; there is one that I feel like a lot of people can probably relate to: I want to stop procrastinating on my work. That means when I get on the computer to do homework or write, Facebook will be off limits.
With all of this said, it isn't too late, Top of Utah teenagers, to challenge yourselves to think about a resolution that is of great importance to you and carry out your plan in 2012 in the most successful of ways.
Danielle Collier is a sophomore at Northridge High School. She enjoys being with friends, volleyball, shopping, writing and traveling. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.