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New Year's Resolutions
by TeenHelp January 1st 2018, 07:23 PM

New Year's Resolutions
By Jenna M. (Fernweh.)

Each November and December, we decide on our New Year resolutions, saying we will quit or change something that is detrimental to our well-being starting from January 1st. This seems like an easy thing to do, right? Telling yourself “I will begin doing…” or that “I will stop…” at the beginning of each year. Some people even stop doing one thing that might be harmful and begin something that is healthy or beneficial to them.

Some common New Year resolutions include: Quitting smoking, reducing or eliminating alcohol intake, eat healthier, exercise more, setting weight-loss goals.

There are quite a few people, myself included, who stick to that resolution for the first week or weekend; but then get back into the habit they’d promised themselves they would give up. A very small fraction of people have stuck with their resolutions throughout the entire year. In a world that has several billion people, that’s just several million individuals when you really think about it.

The main issue is that a lot of people set unrealistic goals for themselves and the most important thing is to think realistically. Could you really complete your resolution and kick that negative habit?

If you want to continue to get good grades in university, and you already get good grades, then you are more likely to continue to get A’s and high B’s. If you want to move out on your own, but can’t afford a place and you’re looking for a job, then it is less likely to happen within a few months or even a year.

Dreams play a major factor in New Year’s resolutions and you can’t get too carried away by them. I am a big dreamer who set goals; but then I take a step back and begin to ask questions such as “how can I do this? Is this even possible” and then begin to feel discouraged. This is one of the reasons why I’ve been unable to carry through with a resolution year after year.

Another thing you can try to do to help keep your New Year resolution is to consider how hard it will be to stick with it for an extended period of time. If you have a great support system to help you to commit to the resolution or to kick a negative habit, then take advantage of it. Begin by telling people what your New Year’s resolution is and have them help you along the way.

You don’t have to go through with it alone; ask your family, friends, and colleagues to look out for you and make sure you are held accountable. They will help to make sure you stick to those resolutions and motivate you when you feel like giving up.

Another important part of sticking to your New Year resolution is to keep track of it. Begin by buying a planner or calendar before you commit to it. By writing downa time and what you want to get done on that day, it will encourage you to do it. It is especially beneficial if you have a fitness goal. Writing down things such as “do the elliptical for twenty minutes, walk for forty minutes” encourages you to do it.

Keeping a journal or a blog would also be helpful; record your thoughts and progress on a daily or weekly basis. Did you do well or did you struggle? Was it hard to not go against your resolution that day or week? What did you do to fight the struggle and did you find it helpful? Perhaps you had to make a little adjustment so making a note of it would be useful. It is okay to make adjustments, as long as it’ll help you stick with your resolution.

Making a to-do list can also be helpful, especially if your resolution is something you have to work towards on a daily basis or you want to be more productive. Plan out the day and how you’ll commit to your plans. When you complete each task, cross it off or use a yellow highlighter. At the end of the each day, you can look at it and feel like you’ve accomplished something and feel good about yourself.

Committing to a New Year’s resolution isn’t easy; they take time and work before becoming a natural part of our lives. It may take weeks, months, or even years, for it to happen. However, hard work will pay off if it’s beneficial to you over the course of many, many years, such as your health.

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