It is that time of year again. The new year is starting, people ate way too much food and spent a lot of time with family, and now they want to start the year by saying, “New year, new me!” Your Facebook feed is probably full of people posting those exact words either as a status or some motivational meme, but to me there is nothing worse to do to your goals than to make a New Year resolution.
This idea may seem strange because typically people say that writing down your goals make you more prone to accomplish them, but for some reason I have found that this is untrue with resolutions, mostly because people (meaning myself) do not really write them down. They just say it to the world and hope that it will come true.
Or they post five or six statuses about what they plan to change and then the resolutions get left behind.
I also find that resolutions tend to be too restrictive, too general or unrealistic. For example, someone may say that they want to lose weight, but not create a plan that would allow them to actually achieve that goal, or they do the opposite. One may say “I want to lose fifty pounds in one month,” which is not only unrealistic, but could also be really unhealthy.
On the contrary, a restrictive goal may not seem too bad, because you think giving up Hot Cheetos all year is a good thing, right?
I have found from personal experience and others’ experiences that this makes you more prone to giving up your resolution in the first two weeks. Telling yourself that you cannot have something makes you want it more. You just end up feeling awful for eating what you gave up and then, five minutes later, you stop caring because, Ooops! That resolution is out the window.
So instead, I just gave up on making resolutions and just decided to start planning the changes I want to make before the New Year even starts. For example, I wanted to make sure that I got into the gym more and ate better this year. So before Christmas I made plans with a buddy to go to the gym with me and eat better with me. Since I had that planned, it made it easier to come here and get into the swing of the things I wanted to change.
No restrictions, no nothing. I just told myself I wanted to get healthy and planned for it.
For me, labeling my goals as New Years’ resolutions make me want to give up on them as soon as possible, but that may not be the case for you. So, if resolutions work for you, try to avoid restrictive, unrealistic or overly general goals. And remember, it is okay if you get off track, just make sure you get back on that train and keep riding it.
Achieving your goals is possible. You just have to put in the work necessary to do so.
Alex Bonnot is a senior English language arts major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]