Lacy (left) and Amanda Niles are gearing their New Year resolutions toward their educational pursuits.
Sally Zoss doesn’t make New Year resolutions.
“I gave up all my vices,” said the Plattsburgh woman.
She quit smoking four years ago.
“You have to want to do it,” Zoss said. “But I knew if I didn’t give it up I wouldn’t see my grandkids grow up.”
Since then, the resolutions have stopped.
She thinks she’s a fairly good person and appreciates the person she has become at this point in her life.
“I take care of my grandkids.”
Karen St. John’s New Year resolution is to finish college.
The Plattsburgh woman studies criminal justice at Clinton Community College and wants to pursue a graduate degree in forensics science.
“I took it in high school.”
So for now, any resolution is focused on completing her college career.
“I didn’t make any resolutions last year,” St. John said. “I usually don’t follow through.”
New Year resolutions are commitments that an individual makes to one or more personal goals, projects or reforming a habit.
The secular tradition in fact has religious parallels, such as during Judaism’s New Year, Rosh Hashanah, and culminating in Yom Kippur. The idea is to reflect upon wrongdoings over the year and seek and offer forgiveness.
The period of Lent for Christians is similar, though the focus is more on sacrifice than responsibility.
Ultimately though, the main theme is to reflect upon self-improvement yearly.
Nearly 80 percent of those who set New Year resolutions fail, according to a 2007 study by Richard Wisemen from the university of Bristol.
Men achieve their goal 22 percent more often when they engage in goal setting, while women succeed 10 percent more by making their goals public.
Autumn Angel, a Saranac High School student, hasn’t given too much thought to New Year resolutions.
“I don’t usually make them,” she said. “I just randomly do it if I want to do something.”
Laura Carmichael consistently makes them but doesn’t follow through very well.
“I am going to lose weight this year, and reduce stress,” she said. “I want to get organized too.”
But the longest she seems to follow through is a month, and after that all goes downhill.
“I think you need to write them down so you see them all the time.”
Lacy Niles wants to complete graduate school at Plattsburgh State and find a job in speech language pathology.
Her sister, Amanda, has one resolution.
“To write my lesson plans on time.”