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How to Achieve Your New Year's Resolutions

I don’t know about you, but I’m not only so relieved that 2020 is over, but also feeling so grateful that I made it through. This past year has tested so many people and brought so much hardship in many different ways. With a new year brings new opportunities. One of the best parts of beginning a new year is being able to set new goals in hopes of a fresh start and a new opportunity for personal growth. Many people, including myself, come up with several New Year’s resolutions, but sometimes they aren’t successful.

Here are 3 of the common mistakes in making New Year’s resolutions and how you can correct them!

1. Not being specific enough

It’s very important to set goals that are specific. Having goals that are not specific or meaningful to the individual makes it easier to step away from the goal. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight, simply saying, “I want to lose weight,” is not enough. Having a more specific goal like wanting to lose 20 pounds is much more specific. To take it a step further, it’s even better to have a scheduled time wherein the goal will be carried out. For example, you can set a reminder on your phone or mark your calendar to workout on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s at 8:00 a.m. In addition, having a deadline for when you want to achieve this goal adds that much more detail to it. Be specific; the more detail the better and the harder to step away!

2. Not knowing why

One of the most notable reasons why resolutions tend to fail is because many people don’t actually know why they have that goal. It’s great to want to lose weight, pick up a new hobby, or improve your eating habits, but why? When goals are made without a clear purpose, it’s harder to not only stay on track, but maintain the motivation to do so. Whether you want to lose weight to feel more confident or pick up a hobby to fill your free time, just make sure that your ‘why’ is reflective of you as an individual. It’s tempting to set goals in order to please those around you, but this can have a more negative effect on your success. This may put more pressure on you, make you dread working towards your goal, or feel discouraged if you reach an obstacle. That being said, do what will make you most happy and make sure your resolution is meaningful.

3. Not having patience

Naturally, we all want to reach our goals quickly. Some may be more complex than others, but regardless, lasting results don’t just happen overnight. More times than not, we encounter obstacles that may cause a delay in the timeline or slip-up on our plan (a global pandemic for example). This is okay! Life is unpredictable and no plan is ever perfect. If you run into an obstacle and have to temporarily put your routine on hold, just be sure to jump right back on it as soon as possible. Making a mistake is also not the end of the world. Just like how plans aren’t always perfect, we humans aren’t perfect either! One slip-up does not mean complete failure; learn from it and keep going. Finally, breaking up a long-term goal into a few short-term goals can make the process much less intimidating.

I learned so much in 2020 and I’m so eager to take those lessons I’ve learned and apply them as I take on the new year. Whether you have 10 resolutions or just 1, just remember to take each day one step at a time. We have 365 days to make progress in whichever ways we choose; don’t rush! As I tackle resolutions of my own, including doing yoga at least once a week to incorporate mindfulness into my routine and journaling as frequently as possible, I will definitely be taking these suggestions into account. Be patient, choose what makes you happy, and, most importantly, be kind to yourself!

I hope this year brings you joy, good grades, and good health. Happy New Year!

- Samantha

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