This is the time of year when you head to Olson for an afternoon run on the treadmill and find every single exercise machine taken. When the salad line at Dining Services is longer than the burger line. When your favorite television show is broken up by commercials all advertising various diets. That’s right, it’s New Year’s resolution time.
Seniors and roommates Colten Kohler, Luke Cutler and Casey Johnson have all made New Year’s resolutions for 2011. While each of their resolutions are vastly different, their hope is that by keeping each other accountable, they will each be able to beat the odds and make their resolutions last throughout the year.
Kohler, a business management and organizational communication major, has resolved to drink only one can of soda per week. Before Christmas break, he had gotten to the point of drinking 2-3 sodas per day, and on days where he didn’t drink any soda, he would go through caffeine withdrawals.
Although in the past New Year’s resolutions have never worked out well for Kohler, he believes it was because the resolutions were always a part of a school assignment. He never felt motivated to stick with it because it wasn’t his choice to do the resolution—it was the teacher’s. However, he is optimistic about this year’s resolution. A large part of his positive attitude is because he hasn’t eliminated soda entirely.
“When people try drastic resolutions is when they seem to fail most often,” he said. “People are creatures of habit, and if we want to break a bad habit we need to take it step-by-step and be gentle.”
One week into the New Year and Kohler has yet to drink any pop. Not even his soda of choice (Dr. Pepper) and not even when the soda was actually given to him.
”It was kind of funny, the other night we went bowling and I won a two liter of pop,” he said. “So I just gave it to my roommates.”
However, he has now taken to drinking more coffee, which he admits might become a problem. He’s even considering adding a clause limiting coffee.
Cutler, an exercise science major, has resolved to complete the Navy Seal’s workout. It includes two nine-week programs that will get him prepared for a half marathon he’s participating in this May. Each nine-week program is a combination of push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and running, which is done every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Last year he tried a similar “get into shape” New Year’s resolution, although it only lasted for about two months. He believes this year’s will be more successful because not only does he have the short-term goals of the two nine-week programs, but he also has the long-term goal of the half marathon in May.
“My roommate ran a marathon last year, my dad has run three marathons, and I did cross country in high school so I am used to running,” Cutler said. “I am also recovering from ACL surgery so I thought the half marathon would be a good goal to set concerning my recovery.”
In addition, Cutler hopes the accountability provided by his roommates will help him be successful.
“We all know what we’re doing and you don’t want to be the one who slacks off,” he said.
His cousin is also doing the Navy Seal’s workout, which is another level of accountability.
Johnson, an economics and business management major, has a slightly less tangible resolution. He has decided to “have high expectations and not waste opportunities.”
Johnson said, “It’s kind of immeasurable. I just don’t want to miss something and then look back with regret.”
And even though he admits that he has a hard time explaining his resolution, let alone getting his roommates understand it, he still is glad to have his friends doing resolutions with him. He is confident enough to give himself a seven on a scale of ten of how successful his New Years Resolution will be.
His more measurable goals for his resolution include landing a job with ESPN, taking a broadcast performance class and possibly learning guitar.
“It’s just something that’s become more apparent to me as I’ve grown older,” Johnson said. “I’ve missed opportunities. This resolution makes me not want to miss those anymore.”
All three roommates agreed that while “New Year’s resolutions” could be set at any time, there’s just something about the tradition of beginning something new on January 1 that helps to keep people accountable.
“I think New Year’s is a chance for a fresh start,” Cutler said. “It’s a time when you can reflect on what you did or did not do the previous year. Getting caught up in it is silly, but I don’t know how many would start up by themselves without it.”
For updates on this story, read future issues of The Concordian.
Kate Campbell, class of ’13, is the copy editor of The Concordian and is majoring in English education. She is from Sauk Rapids, Minn. At Concordia, Kate is involved in choir and band and works at the Writing Center. After graduation, Kate would like to teach English in a middle or high school.