As the new year rolls around, everyone begins to mark their to-do lists with different New Year’s resolutions. Although resolutions may range from as small as spending a little less on coffee to as big as donating time every weekend to helping charity, most people settle on very big, and sometimes unrealistic goals for themselves. Some of the most extreme resolutions include going to the gym every single day, completely altering diets, or hoping to plan every second of every day in the calendar. For about two weeks, the gym is packed, Trader Joe’s is bustling, and nobody is late to class; everyone seems to be consistently achieving their goals. But after this two week period, the gym is a little more leisurely, Trader Joe’s stocks are down, and there are a few people creeping into class ten minutes late. The slacking begins to show, and, before they know it, most people are back where they started, sitting on their bed enjoying Netflix with a bag of chips. What could have gone wrong?
First, often, New Year’s resolutions are too broad. You need to realize that resolutions do not have to be big goals. For instance, a New Year’s resolution of going to the gym every single day at 6:00 AM, although it may be achievable for some, for most is a big time commitment. Suddenly changing your routine is a challenging task – you are basically trying to alter your entire lifestyle. Instead of these far-fetched, aspirational goals, try to set goals that are specific. For instance, if your goal is to live a healthier lifestyle, then include the gym into your schedule, but if that’s not possible, promise yourself to eat a home-cooked, healthy meal instead of going out with friends. Rather than trying to eat a salad for every single meal, try to reduce foods like ice cream and french fries from your meals.
Secondly, there is no outlined plan to help achieve these resolutions. Some students promise themselves that they will get better grades in the new year. As good as this sounds, within a week, students are commonly left on their phones, procrastinating the night away. This is when a solid plan comes in handy. Promise yourself to only be on your phone for ten minutes at a time; you can even set your phone to lock after you pass your time limit. For underclassmen, really commit to using your study hall hours to do work; if you have finished early, opt out of Netflix and choose to get ahead for the week. Outlining a basic plan for your resolutions can help you achieve your goals. With this specific plan in mind, it even becomes easier to keep track of whether you are actually meeting the expectations of your goals.
Finally, it is important to set rewards for meeting your goals. The most important part of New Year’s resolutions is sustainability. Therefore, appreciate yourself for remaining committed to your goals; your shouldn’t be afraid to show yourself some gratitude. For instance, if you are reaching for a higher average at school, after you have achieved that average, celebrate by taking the extra time on Wednesdays to relax and enjoy a movie with your friends.
In conclusion, New Year’s resolutions are a healthy way for self-development. By slowly changing your lifestyle with good planning, you can look forward to the end of the year when you will have achieved those goals. So, how about setting some realistic, achievable goals with the right plan this new year?