Student Relish

Keeping up your New Year’s resolutions

The New Year means three things: packed gyms, more healthy food in the fridge, and some new ideas about being a “new you”, whether that means maintaining a better budget, drinking less, finding a job, improving your grades in school, or some other self-improvement goal.

The issue with these resolutions is that they always die on week 3 of the New Year. It’s easy enough to maintain a resolution for a few days, but once that McDonald’s craving hits, or you’re too tired to go gym, the goals are dropped.


So how can you keep your resolutions? Here are a few tips.

1) Set resolutions you really want to achieve. 

Ok, so you want to be fit. But do you, really? Recognize that every goal will take work and commitment, and that you’re unlikely to succeed unless you really care about it. On those winter mornings when it’s raining and cold and you’re hungover, going to the gym will be rough, so you need to know that you are working towards something that you REALLY want, otherwise you won’t be motivated to do it.

2) Set realistic resolutions.

Ask yourself this: would you be surprised if you failed? If the answer is no, then you should reconsider the resolution. Make it clear, measurable, and achievable. Baby steps are key: don’t start with anything too big or it will seem insurmountable. For instance, if you want to cut drinking, it’s easier to set a resolution like “I’ll only go out once per week” than something more drastic like “I won’t go out at all this term.”


3) Make it convenient.

Setting out your clothes ahead of time, putting reminders in places you’ll see them, and making plans to complete your resolution with a friend will make sure that your goals are firmly in the spotlight of your day-to-day life. Constant reminders are good. The more convenient you make something, the more likely you are to do it.

4) Tell people about it.

If you share your resolution with friends over social media, in class, or at your work, you are creating a situation in which many people will hold you accountable. If you fail to do something privately, it’s easier to accept. If you fail to do something publicly, the pressure is greater and you are more likely to push yourself to succeed.


5) Reward yourself.

Set benchmark goals for yourself to achieve your resolution, and when you meet them, reward yourself. For example, if you are resolved to stick to a budget this year, and you make it to the one month mark, allow yourself a few extra pounds to buy yourself a coffee or an extra drink on your next night out. These little rewards won’t break the budget, or set you off your resolution, but they will give you something to look forward to when you reach the next benchmark.


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