How to: Achieve your New Year’s Resolutions

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Courtesy of Forbes

Everything you need to come up with great New Year’s Resolutions.

Every year, there is the infamous dinner conversation, class worksheet, or friend all asking you the same question: What’s your New Year’s resolution this year? Often this conversation seems pointless because no one ever actually achieves their New Year’s resolutions, right? But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are seven simple steps to achieving your goals this year:

Step 1: Write your resolutions down. While this might seem trivial and unnecessary, writing your resolutions down is actually proven to increase the odds of you accomplishing them. Not only does it help you fully realize the task at hand, but it also helps you make definite specific goals, not a general idea of who you want to become.

A good example of writing down goals all in one place. (Courtesy of How Stuff Works)

Step 2: Don’t include the word “everyday.” While one might believe they are just being specific by making their resolution “journal everyday before bed,” everyday really only works with short term goals. Inevitably at least one, probably more, of the 365 days you will have something that prevents you from doing this and even if you started journaling a lot more and did it most nights by the end of the year, you will still feel as though you did not achieve your goal.

“My New Year’s resolution is to work on my self love journey and to become more content with who I am without comparing myself to others,” said Audrey Giltner, senior.

This is a good example because she can do things to achieve this such as daily affirmations or going on social media less, but it is not overly restrictive and unsustainable such as “not use any social media.” Even if she only sees a little progress by the end of the year, she still worked towards self betterment and shouldn’t be discouraged from continuing her journey. 

Step 3: Reward yourself with little checkpoints. Whether it is buying yourself a new outfit when you hit a weight that is a fourth of the way to your goal or giving yourself a rest day after you were able to run two miles straight for the first time, rewards can keep you motivated when the end of the year seems super far away. 

Step 4: Don’t be too hard on yourself. Yes, you need to be disciplined in order to achieve any hard goal, but being too hard on yourself will just damage your mental health and in turn make your goal harder to reach. Remember that no matter what your goal is, it is working toward the ultimate goal of self betterment. So don’t sacrifice one thing to achieve another. 

 “Do not get frustrated if you falter, no one is perfect and the only way we grow at times is by making mistakes, learning from them and then improving on them,” said Mrs. Tazelaar, physical education teacher.

Step 5: Think about your goals from past years. What allowed or prevented you from achieving your goals? If you made the same goal last year and something came up, what makes you think you can do it now? Take this into account. Ask yourself if these things still apply. If they do, you don’t necessarily have to alter your entire resolution, but maybe adjust it to be more attainable under your own specific circumstances. 

“Honestly I don’t think I have [achieved a past year’s resolution]. I think that because I would always try goals that drastically change my lifestyle and that weren’t sustainable,” said Abby Antinossi, senior. 

It is important to remember your everyday life. While it may be reasonable for you to workout for two hours everyday for the remainder of winter break at the start of the year, how does this work once school starts? Is it still sustainable for you? Maybe, maybe not. 

Step 6: Tell close friends and family your goal. Even better, get a friend to do it with you

“Have an accountability buddy, someone who can help you/support you with your resolution,” Tazelaar said. “It should be someone you trust and know that will hold you accountable when you are not moving in the direction you should be.”

This can help you stay on track even when you are feeling unmotivated or are struggling to see progress. 

Step 7: It’s OK to adapt your goal if you were too ambitious at first. You can still start now! It’s still January! 

New Year’s resolutions are known for not getting accomplished, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you make reasonable goals for yourself, and follow these steps, you should be just on track to making it through 2021 with your resolution.