The start of the New Year marks an exciting time for everyone. Whether you’re a believer in goals or resolutions, most people are hopeful of what the new year may bring. However bold we might be coming out of the holiday season into the fresh unknown, it can certainly be hard to follow through on those goals.
Studies as of 2016 show that only 9 percent of Americans who set New Year’s resolutions feel that they achieve them. Out of the Americans who set resolutions, a disproportionate number have given up within the first month or even weeks of the New Year. For college students, this can be even more difficult once classes start up and free time begins to dissipate. If that’s the case, it’s likely that a great number of us (myself included) have already given up their resolutions?
Essential tips to restart your New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Narrow the focus on your most important goals
If you’re anything like me, I aimed far and wide in 2022. Surely, since self-improvement goals all have a positive impact, the more the merrier, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t typically the case. The more goals you have, the less likely you are able to follow through. It may make sense to reevaluate your goals for this year in light of what you’ve found to be more critical to your personal fulfillment and development.
2. Re-define your goal
After starting a new goal, you may find that the target was a little off. That’s not to say that one month represents your full year potential! However, some of our initial goals may not be realistic given our history or current situation. For example, if you aimed to workout 6 times per week this year but find it won’t be possible with your course-load, it may make sense to aim for 4 or 5 times per week. There is no shame in altering your goals to be more achievable.
3. Break down your goal for the next month
If you’ve had trouble maintaining focus on a year-long goal, it may be better to set more short-term goals. These goals may ultimately point toward a long-term goal, and are often easier to maintain. If you’re hoping to become a morning person in 2022, it will be a lot easier to set a goal of waking up 30 minutes earlier in February than you did in January, and so on. This can be much less scary than jumping straight into the deep end of the pool!
4. Give yourself a little grace
It can be easy to go hard on yourself after you feel like you fell flat on your New Year’s resolutions. At the same time, remember that it’s meant to be a positive impact, and you may not always succeed. If you mess up on a goal or underperform one week, that doesn’t mean you need to wait until next year to start over. To remain persistent in your goals, remember to give yourself grace when you slip up. You can’t change who you are overnight, but you can certainly get 1% better each day.
Regardless if you are still pursuing or restarting a resolution this New Year, I hope these tips are an encouragement! Best of luck to all students in their spring semester and broader 2022 goals.