A New Year, a new opportunity

“Five, four, three, two, one, happy new year!” The crowd erupts with cheers in Times Square and sleepy neighborhoods come alive with the banging of pots and pans. As observed in the United States and other parts of the world, the new year begins with celebrations and traditions.

When a person thinks of New Year’s Day, certain traditions and customs come to mind. Eating foods such as pork, sauerkraut and black-eyed peas are said to bring good luck and prosperity according to German tradition. Good luck will fall upon a house if the first person to step through the door Jan. 1 is a tall, dark-haired man. And then there is the New Year’s resolution.

Although Jan. 1 is just another day on the calendar, it marks a period of change. The previous year is past, and the new year is just beginning. By making a New Year’s resolution, a person attempts to break old habits for a healthy change.

For some people, making and fulfilling a New Year’s resolution helps set a path for the year, setting goals to achieve. Other people view making New Year’s resolutions as a waste of time because most are broken anyway. A goal might be set, but there is little chance in it ever being achieved.

New Year’s resolutions date back to an old European custom in which what a person does on New Year’s Day will be what they do for the rest of the year. The reflection of a single action is why many New Year’s resolutions concern improving one’s self. Losing weight, eating right, exercising more or stopping smoking are among the most popular resolutions.

GW offers activities this week to help students keep their New Year’s resolutions. The Student Activities Center offers a New Year’s Resolution Work-Out Workshop Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. in the Hippodrome. Students can take a free sample class in yoga, kick boxing, hip-hop aerobics or nutrition.

The Lerner Health and Wellness Center will hold an open house and health fair this week. Workshops on how to create and achieve an effective New Year’s resolution will be held on Monday and Thursday. The workshop will be held in the fitness center conference room from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Monday and in the same location from 6:15-7:15 p.m. on Thursday.

Although resolutions can be broken easily, remember the year 2003 is only 351 days away.

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