It’s a new year, and that means it’s time to make resolutions. The year 2014 is bound to be full of new opportunities and adventures. I’m sure a lot of people make resolutions, but I’m envious of the people that actually follow through with theirs. I have a bad habit of breaking mine about a week into the New Year. Maybe I should make it a resolution to stop breaking my resolutions?
In addition to breaking my resolutions, I tend to feel guilty about not having enough will power to make sure that my resolutions are fulfilled. Not being able to accomplish a resolution can leave people feeling discouraged about the year ahead. I’ve noticed that people tend to make resolutions to break bad habits, but I think that instead of waiting for January 1st, people should strive to break their bad habits no matter what day of the year it is. While making New Year’s resolutions is fun, I think the added pressure of starting on January 1st makes it more likely that they will get broken. Plus, once you’ve broken your resolution, you are programmed to think that you can’t start trying again until the next year.
Many would say that starting a goal with the beginning of the year has the power of numbers. For example, while you are pushing yourself to work out more, there are so many other people doing the same thing right by your side. However, if you’re like me, you find solace in working out alone (#loner), so a crowded gym is intimidating. At the same time, resolutions aren’t entirely bad; they just may not work for everyone.
Instead of putting pressure on myself to change major things about my life, I’m making a list of small steps that I can take to be a better me. I like to think of them as long-term goals instead of something that I have to quit cold turkey or jump right into. For example, instead of deciding that I want to achieve a 4.0 this semester, I’ve deciding that I’m going to take time out of each day to study more thoroughly for each class and not just the ones for which I have homework. Instead of making it a resolution to lose weight, I want to push myself to eat healthier foods in the dining halls and minimize my late night snacking.
Another plan that I have for 2014 is to try more new things. Maybe join a new club or write about new things. It can even be as simple as trying a new food or talking to someone new in one of my classes. There should be no pressure in trying to maintain a resolution. While it may be a little challenging if you’re breaking out of your comfort zone, it should be fun and something that you want to do. Don’t feel discouraged if your goal isn’t met right away. Change takes time and it is a gradual process.