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The Only New Year’s Resolution Guide You Need

A study done by the University of Scranton found that less than 8% of Americans stuck to their new year’s resolutions each year. Yet, millions of people around the world continue to make them, in hopes that one year, they’ll actually achieve one or all of their goals. I’m no mathematician, but data showing only 8% achieving their new year’s resolutions are not the best odds. Most often, new year’s resolutions don’t even last past February. Like most of us, I also thought about what goals I wanted to set for myself ahead of 2021. But, after 2020 being the mess of a year it was, I found it hard to motivate myself and set my mind on making this year a better one. We’re already halfway through January and if you’ve already fallen behind on your resolutions, forgive yourself. Sometimes all you need is to tweak them a little, and you’ll be back on the right track in no time. Considering the other 92% of individuals that are susceptible to failing their resolutions, I created a list of tips and tricks to help you achieve those “new year, new me” plans!

1. Not a “go big or go home” situation

Having unrealistic resolutions is one of the most common reasons why people fail to achieve them by the end of the year. Instead of deciding on December 31 that you want to lose 50 pounds within the next year, maybe decide to aim for a more achievable goal. It’s easy to feel unmotivated when it doesn’t feel like you’re making any progress within the first few weeks of the year. If you’re really determined to make a difference through your resolutions, then you can always set a long-term goal for yourself to lose 50 pounds within the next few years instead. Small short-term goals are always better than bigger goals.

2. Count your resolutions with one hand

Make no more than five resolutions a year. It’s easy to get carried away with different aspects of your life that you want to improve on, but having many resolutions can also make it harder to keep track of and realistically achieve. The rule of thumb is to be able to count all your resolutions on one hand. This is a great way to prioritize your resolutions as well! Maybe, your most important resolution is regarding your health, and your other four resolutions belong to other categories. One finger per aspect – school, work, health and so many more options.

3. All about the approach

This helpful trick has helped me achieve not only my new year’s resolutions but has also improved various aspects of my lifestyle. Having a positive mentality when tackling your new year’s resolutions is directly correlated with achieving them. Frame your resolution in a way that doesn’t make you avoid something, but rather, think of something that can replace your undesirable behaviour instead. For example, instead of telling yourself, “turn off your phone an hour before bedtime,” it may be easier to tell yourself, “read a book before bedtime.” Tricking your mind to frame an idea into something positive is really helpful in all aspects of daily life, not just for resolutions.

4. Progress over perfection

If you failed to do all 50 push-ups today as you had initially planned to, that’s okay. At least you worked out and got some physical activity in during the day. Small wins are still wins. Maybe tomorrow, you’ll do more than 50 push-ups and then feel unmotivated to work out the day after again. It’s okay and natural to feel unmotivated at times and miss your goals once in a while. However, if your goals are frequently unachievable, maybe rethink and change them to become more doable.

I hope that at least one of these tips can help you achieve your new year’s resolutions! If you’re really struggling to keep up with them, try looking for a friend with a similar resolution – the buddy system works to keep each other accountable. While we have no idea what 2021 will bring, it’s important to prioritize yourself and what you need first. Remember, the more realistic the resolutions are, the more achievable they will be!

Melissa Huen

Wilfrid Laurier '22

Melissa is in her 4th year at Wilfrid Laurier University, studying Music Therapy with a minor in Psychology. When she's not busy raving about her hometown, Vancouver, BC, you can find her baking, travelling, or checking out the newest restaurants in town.
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