Photo Courtesy of Forth of Life (CC BY 2.0)

Holiday habits are unfortunately short-lived

December 6, 2018

Winter breaks are wonderful times for high school students and adults alike. Thanksgiving and Christmas allow people to take time off from their busy lives and habitual stresses of responding to emails, attending classes and meetings and waking up early in the morning to do something they would rather not do. During holiday season, people can relax and spend more time with friends and family.

With this additional time off, people also find a way to improve themselves. They pick up new and beneficial habits. Some may start to meditate more. Some will eat healthier. Some will try to  use their phone less and live more in the moment. All of this is great and commendable, but here’s the problem; it does not last. Why? People only looked to better themselves because society told them to.

Thanksgiving tells people to be thankful for what they have. Christmas tells people they should be cheerful and happy. This works, as people are suddenly inspired to become extra generous. According to a 2014 USATODAY article, about 34 percent of all charitable giving is done in the last three months of the year. December alone holds about 18 percent of those of donations. Lastly, there is New Years. This international holiday has arguably the largest impact on lives (for a limited time only). People all around the world, not just of a certain religion or nationality, take part in this holiday. In the days leading up to Jan. 1st, we reflect on the past year and reassess who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. We make resolutions small and large, depending on how we want to change for the better.

Though some people are successful in their New Year’s resolutions, it is rare that the majority of people stick with their plans. According to one study from the University of Scranton, 92 percent of people do not keep their resolutions. It is similar with the other holidays. Eventually, the Christmas spirits and grateful attitudes during Thanksgiving wear off, and people revert back to the same people they were before.

People should not put so much emphasis and pressure on themselves to change during this holiday season because it is pointless if they are going to drop their ambitions a month later. Truth be told, there is no perfect moment or time to be a better person. Instead of waiting on the world to give yourself permission to work harder, care for those less fortunate more or even be happier, start whenever you are inspired to.

It is almost ridiculous to hear people shout “New year, new me” just because it is in style. Being a better person should not be a societal trend that comes and goes. It’s a commitment with yourself and that should be sustained over the long-term.

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