Pros and cons of 2020 resolutions: chancellor and students discuss

Pros and cons of 2020 resolutions: chancellor and students discuss

Photo Credits: KIYOMI WATSON / AGGIE

Some may see their resolutions through, while others watch resolutions fizzle out by February

Inevitably, an abundance of resolutions are made at the start of each new year — for some, resolutions can be as broad as ‘study harder’ or ‘be kinder.’ For others, resolutions are more specific or work toward a desired outcome, such as kicking a daily Starbucks habit or engaging in self-reflection once a week. 

Research statistics show that many resolutions made are fitness or health related, followed by money and mental wellness resolutions. Most New Year’s resolutions, however, are not kept for 12 months — in fact, according to the research, more than 80% of resolutions fail by February. 

While many choose to set goals for themselves, others do not find purpose in creating resolutions — including UC Davis Chancellor Gary May, who does not believe in New Year’s resolutions.

“From a personal standpoint, I have never been a big believer in New Year’s resolutions,” May said via email. “However, my daily goals are also applicable to a longer-term perspective. Those are to learn something, help people, and try to make the world better. This is what I resolve to continue to do in 2020 and beyond.”

In response to whether or not she sets New Year’s resolutions every year, Ching Sun, a second-year chemical engineering major, said “no.” 

“I don’t [set resolutions every year],” Sun said. “Sometimes I would set goals for myself throughout the year instead of making a list at the beginning of the year. When I make New Year’s resolutions, they usually last about two or three months and then they go on and off.”

Sun noted that she looks to the previous year to see what she could improve upon in the coming year — “This year, I want to put a lot more effort into school and I want to learn to manage my money,” Sun said. 

As Chancellor, May has high ambitions for UC Davis in 2020.

“We expect to make significant progress on many fronts, including empowering students to be agents of their own success, making discoveries that address societal challenges, raising the status and international visibility of our university, serving the regional and state communities, and generating research and philanthropic resources to accomplish these goals,” May said. “The specific framework for how we address these objectives in 2020 and the coming decade is best summarized in our strategic plan, ‘To Boldly Go.’”

In summary, ‘To Boldly Go’ addresses how the university strides to guide itself “to new heights of distinction” and “maximize opportunities as a driver of innovation and economic growth for the public good,” with five strategic plan goals, following its responsibilities as a public land-grant university.

Whether or not students maintain their resolutions is a personal decision, and everyone has a different method of self-motivation. Given trends, however, it seems that more ambitious goals may burn out quickly — something students may or may not want to take into account when planning out their 2020. 

Written by: Linh Nguyen — features@theaggie.org