Time to update your New Year’s resolutions

It is time that we have new years resolutions that we can be successful in completing.

When ringing in the new year many people decide to bring change for themselves, a common resolve for this is by creating a New Year’s resolution. This idea of having a resolution to better yourself in the new year has been around forever. But, the expectations that people place on themselves are oftentimes so unrealistic that they usually don’t meet their expectations or they stop implementing changes. 

In an article titled “New Year’s Resolutions – The good the bad and the ugly,” Lizzie Fitton stated that “Studies show that 80% of new year’s resolutions fail by February as people just can’t stick to the targets they have set themselves on January 1st.”

Personally I have never done a New Year’s resolution because those that I have seen in the media are so open ended that trying to meet that goal just feels like added stress to an already busy life. In an article on doyou.com by Ali Washington titled “5 Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Suck, and How to Create Change that Lasts,” Washington shares five reasons as to why New Year’s resolutions fail and suggests ways in which you can make resolutions that you’re able to keep.

The first one being that the goals that you set are “ones that you don’t really care about.” If you are setting goals that you don’t care about, then why would you keep doing it all year? This is why you need to set goals that are personal to you, not ones that the media tries to convince you are important — if they are personal then you will have more drive to stick to them,

One of the most common resolutions that people make is to lose weight, which may not be not a bad thing but the expectations that people have with losing weight can make this goal problematic. People think that if they try out a new fad diet or exercise plan then they will lose weight quickly and often expect to see immediate change. 

One of the issues with this type of weight loss plan is that it rarely fits into many people’s day to day lives. It isn’t sustainable or healthy, everyone loses weight differently and that means that people will have different outcomes. Due to this, many people can’t keep up with it and never see results, ultimately leading them to abandon their resolution. 

The second reason from Washington’s article is that “they don’t give you a reason to push through tough times.” If the resolution is not going to push you, bring some excitement or even fear when life gets hard, it will be harder to uphold the resolution. For example, if you are trying to lose weight and the gyms are closed, go for walks outside somewhere that you have not been to. The excitement of a new place will surely help in completing your workout.

The third reason from Washington’s article is that “they are usually poorly formed goals.” Meaning that if you set a goal to lose weight, then that’s good, but what are you going to do in order to lose the weight? If you don’t have that aspect of your goal figured out then it will be difficult to achieve what you set. This is why having a game plan is so important. 

Instead of making an arbitrary resolution like losing weight your top priority, instead try to set more realistic goals that are simpler to stick to and see through. Having a goal of eating healthier or going on a daily walk is much more sustainable, attainable and healthy. 

These are goals that can be tracked and seen by the person doing it, increasing the likelihood that they will continue because they know that they are doing something to help themselves in a way where they don’t have to completely change their lifestyles.  

Then, there are the students who set the goal of getting good grades, but an unclear idea of what good grades look like can take someone on a crazy ride. Good grades could mean various things from obtaining mere passing grades or it could mean that you want to get strictly A’s. 

If you set a goal such as “I am going to aim for grades that are in the A-B range this quarter” this is much easier to track and know if you are succeeding. It can also help people learn how to forgive themselves if they mess up. While not an easy thing to learn, if you begin practicing small goals, such as grades, it will make it easier when you have to forgive yourself for a bigger issue. 

The fourth reason from Washington’s article is that the resolutions are “always set in the negative.” When making a resolution it is usually set in a direction to help better ourselves but at the same time we are also looking at who we have been in a negative light, and if we don’t achieve our goal then we are still the same person as before. If you set your goals in a more positive way then that self hatred and negative thinking will be less likely to appear. 

One thing to remember when making a New Year’s resolution for this year is to be easier on yourself after dealing with COVID-19 and the uncertainty it holds. In order to be the best person you want to be in 2021 set goals for yourself that are achievable for you, and if you go through a rough patch at times try to remember to not be so hard on yourself. These resolutions are not meant to be something to add stress into your life. If that’s what it is doing, then you need to reevaluate what your resolution is and make it more realistic for yourself. 

The fifth and final reason from Washington’s article is that resolutions “give us a reason to beat ourselves up.” This has to do with the fact that the goals we set for ourselves are commonly so vague that it is hard to get where we really want to go, and if we fail then it gives us a reason to beat ourselves up and say that we are not good enough. This one piggybacks off of the third reason, if you set a goal that is obvious and straightforward, then it gives you no reason to beat yourself up because you already have a suitable approach to success.  

Making and setting goals that you know you can personally achieve even during times like COVID-19 can be very beneficial for everyday life. Setting goals that you know are achievable will help aid you to use your time wisely and, in the long run, better your life.