How to win at New Year’s Resolutions

by Bailee Ku and Maddie Mehegan

A source of much discussion and frustration in January is the topic of New Year’s Resolutions. Are they helpful? Does anyone actually keep their resolutions? Opinions are generally split evenly down the middle, with half swearing off all January-related goal-setting and others still tentatively trying to complete their plans. The fundamental idea of setting goals is great; self improvement is enormously rewarding if done correctly. But people tend to treat their resolutions like fairy godmothers, listing all sorts of unrealistic and unattainable objectives. Lack of planning and the expectation that simply writing a phrase down will change years of habits often leads to discouragement. This is why 42.4% of people fail to succeed in their resolutions every year. (http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/) Real action and effort is replaced by list-making and sheer hope. So, how are we to break this cycle of inaction? Here are the best tips for setting goals.

According to Google, goal setting is identifying something that you wish to accomplish and establishing achievable goals and timelines. First, make a game plan. Significant change happens in steps. Document your progress and celebrate each new milestone. Accountability is key; let family and friends know the plan and how to help you achieve your goals. If you’re trying to get rid of a bad habit, do something else. Build an alternative competing behavior. Have patience with yourself.

It is important to remember that habits aren’t broken overnight. WHEN you fail, don’t give up. In the words of Jesse Jackson,

“If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise up against the odds.”

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