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Aspirations and Achievements: New Years Resolutions Unveiled at JCHS

Photo courtesy of Google.


“Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day.” -Michael Josephson


As 2023 comes to a close, it’s time to look towards the future in 2024! What better way to start the year than, to begin with a vision you set yourself to achieve this coming year, a New Year’s Resolution? But before we hear a bit from what the students and staff of JCHS have to say about aspirations they’re determined to achieve this year, let’s first talk about how the overarching ideas of a New Year’s celebration and New Year’s resolution found their way to the US.


New Year’s: Origin Story

The celebration of the New Year is ancient, dating back more than 4,000 years to Babylonia. The Babylonians’ New Year’s celebration was “a 12-day festival called Akitu.” It started at the beginning of “the spring planting season in March” (Insightful). The Babylonians would have statues of their gods paraded throughout the streets, and ceremonies were performed, symbolizing their victories over their troubles. The rituals performed were symbolic to the Babylonians as they believed that the world was “cleansed and recreated by the gods in preparation for the new year and the return of spring” (History).


While the Babylonians were the first to celebrate the New Year, the Romans initiated the concept of New Year’s resolutions. Since the Romans believed in many gods and were even more fond of naming months after their gods, the Romans had January named after Janus, the two-faced Roman God known for looking to new beginnings and “backward for reflection and resolution” (almanac). The Romans would give sacrifices to Janus and promise to be better for the year to come; this overall idea of promising to be better for the new year was what the Romans considered a resolution. 


Centuries later, the idea of having a resolution was adopted in the US because of Protestants and their legacy during the early 1900s (almanac). The Protestants were known to be spiritual and religious; they wanted to develop stronger morals as people and a more fortified work ethic, and they wanted to strengthen their use of self-control in the face of temptation. As times changed, the US continued to grow and develop. Resolutions in the US evolved from promises to deny oneself “physical indulgences” to “general self-improvement,” such as losing weight (almanac).


New Year’s Resolutions at JCHS

For 2024, many people within the US have goals for self-improvement. My goal is to put in my best effort with every task I have at hand, from my academic life to my personal life. I aim to stay determined and disciplined with my studies by the grace of God and improve my interpersonal relationships. Many people have visions and aspirations for the new year, so why not hear from some of James Caldwell High School’s students and staff members? What do some of them hope to accomplish in 2024?

Lizzy Morcom says, “My New Year’s resolution is to do more self-care and to take more time for myself.”

Lucie Pecora hopes to “cut back on Starbucks.”

Shelby Bellofatto is hoping to “save up for a new car.”

Jacqueline Manfro said, “My New Year’s resolution is to wear my hair naturally more.”

Peyton Robbins wants “to become more motivated.”

Mr. Phelan plans to “eat healthier, exercise more, and spend less time on the internet and watching TV.”

Señora Giampino-Vasi wants “to eat healthier.”

Mr. Antonucci aspires “to be healthier (eat better, exercise more).” 

Zaniya Jackson plans “to learn self-love and take better care of myself.” – 

Jason Ruiz hopes to “wake up earlier.” 

Jeffrey Bosslett’s goal is “to run at least a mile every day.”

Kaci Pace wants to go “to the gym at least 4 days a week”.

Siley Caplan aims to “study more”.

Miss Riggitano said she wants to “read more books for myself / enjoyment.”

Orlin Wilson aspires “to get a job.”

Moon Rael plans to do “20 minutes of cardio and 15 minutes of weight lifting per day, about a 35-minute workout each day”. 

Alexis Carrillo plans to gain more “money, success, and to be 200.”

Mr. Mendez said, “I want to go to California for my daughter’s graduation as she is attending university.”

Mr. Marrone said he aspires to “continue to grow and be an improved version of myself.”

Mia Martinez plans “to stop worrying too much and to calm down.”

Julian Folch aims “to work out more consistently.”


The Importance of a New Year’s Resolution

Making a New Year’s resolution is quite commemorable as New Year’s resolutions encourage self-discipline and determination. After hearing from some of the students and staff at JCHS, I noticed a recurring idea of wanting to be healthier and in good physical shape, which are great ambitions to have for the new year. I believe New Year’s resolutions are important as they help develop character. New Year’s resolutions are goals and/or promises a person makes to themselves when they want to start or stop doing something to better themselves. For example, wanting to complete assignments early or eat out less would be examples of resolutions. There are so many different types of goals that people try to commit to for the coming year. These resolutions may be enjoyable as having goals and ambition is nice, but they require work and effort. Resolutions can also be challenging after the reality sinks in; you need to cut down on this food or do more of that activity. This is where self-discipline and the determination to overcome tempestuous desires play a crucial role. New Year’s resolutions are essential so we can develop the self-control to not eat that slice of cake at your friend’s house or to set that alarm to wake up at 6 am to get ready for that morning jog. Once your goal is accomplished, it feels great and makes it worthwhile. New Year’s Resolutions are great goals as the “New Year offers a blank slate” and an opportunity to make things right (Piedmont). Having a New Year’s Resolution conceptualizes the idea of “self-efficacy,” which is the belief in one’s ability to execute the necessary behaviors to produce the desired outcome (American Psychological Association). It is essential to have aspirations and follow through with them, as it shows a person’s capability and gives them more self-confidence. So why not go through this year with a firmness of purpose and seek to find opportunities for self-improvement every day?

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