Resolution confusion


Don’t approach a promise to yourself by leaving it hanging out there in thin air because the intensity of the promise will evaporate. (Dreamstime/TNS)

Lars Tangen-Ackerman

Every January news outlets are filled with stories about how crowded the gyms are, and experts say about half the people fall off by the time February comes rolling around.

The number one New Year’s resolution of Americans is to lose weight or achieve a healthier way of living. About 40 percent of Americans usually set goals of self-improvement for the new year, according to a Statistic Brain report.

Almost half of Americans never succeed in fulfilling their resolutions, according to the report.

How can one set realistic goals that will actually be accomplished? The Sundial looked to experts in motivation to help guide the resolution confusion.

According to an article by Kevin Kruse on, being specific about setting goals and being patient are some of the key factors leading to success when it comes to New Year’s resolutions.

Family and marriage therapist Robert Harrison of the Los Angeles LGBT Center shared some motivational tips for students who wish to achieve their resolutions.

“[Motivation] is something that really has to come from within. I think what helps motivation is to get really clear on why you are doing something,” Harrison said. “Often people are too vague about the reasons for their goals, and then it kind of gets muddled.”

Resolutions Pie Chart
New Year’s Resolutions 2017
Source: Photo credit: Lars Tangen-Ackerman

Harrison emphasized that getting support from friends while trying to achieve a goal can be very helpful in the process.

“Really meaningful reasons for you will guide you to success when it comes to achieving goals,” Harrison said. “Some people will lose weight because they think people will accept them more, while others might want to be really, really healthy, which might be a better reason.”

New Year's Resolutions 2017 Chart
New Year’s Resolutions 2017
Source: Photo credit: Lars Tangen-Ackerman

Harrison also said there is a difference between wishing and wanting something. According to Harrison, the distinction is detrimental and it is a difference between taking action and just talking or thinking about something.

“They have to be wanting, longing, and actually willing to take the necessary steps in order to achieve their resolutions,” Harrison said. “If they just wish for something, and I ask them if they really want to achieve this, I often find that my clients aren’t really motivated to take the steps necessary to achieve their goals.”

University Counseling Services can also be helpful in guiding students on the way to success with self-improvement. An appointment can be set up free of charge to CSUN students, but the free service has limited capacity, and appointments usually fill up quickly, so it is better to make an appointment sooner rather than later.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center also offers counseling services at six locations throughout the county. They accept most insurance plans and “offer services on a sliding scale, based on ability to pay.”

Free counseling services provided for students through the contacts below:

University Counseling Services:
Bayramian Hall 520
818-677-2366, Option 1

Los Angeles LGBT Center: