The problem with New Year’s resolutions

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By Tiffany Hervas
Campus News

At the end of every year comes the renewal of hope and inspiration for change. Champagne bottles pop and glasses cling as the world welcomes in the New Year.  Full of second chances, rekindled love and passions; people look forward to the setting of new goals and aspirations. Within a matter of 24 hours suddenly the world is filled with a renewed spirit, declaring, “This is the year for change!”

While the month of January sparks all the craze, gym membership’s increase, smoking patches fly off the shelves and Staples’ supplies run low as Americans makes their first moves towards a “better, healthier living”.  Top New Year’s resolutions include losing weight by going to the gym and/or eating healthier, quitting smoking and becoming more organized.  Although, it is also just as common for the craze to diminish during the following months as most people’s vigor and ambition dissolves into the routine of everyday life and responsibility. The leaving behind of the once vibrant zeal results in lame excuses, procrastination and ultimately termination.

The common problem with New Years’ resolutions seems to be the method utilized to complete them.  When forming lengthy lists of goals to achieve by the end of the year can actually be a hindrance to success. Once confronted with a difficulty in a task, it is easy to begin to feel hopeless and discouraged.  This mentality of feeling “set back,” when goals are not efficiently met can have an effect on the effort put into other ambitions. Before you know it, yet another year passes without any accomplishment.

General unawareness of the differences between the term’s product and process goals has an effect on an individual’s productivity. These goals differentiate because some are naturally quicker and easier to accomplish than others that require more time and effort. Why lay on the load at the start of the New Year when all it takes is a small effort each day? This year make the commitment for the year, not for the day. Change your mindset to alter an aim that benefits your own success.

While creating this year’s list, I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone and look beyond the norm.  Since the top resolutions consist of better, healthier living, why not chose to improve character instead of image?  Why not aim towards something worthwhile, meaningful and fulfilling, not just for yourself, but also for others around you? Purpose to make a difference in your community and/or school by getting involved — help is always needed and appreciated. Plan to improve in some way each day by setting your own specific challenge. Purpose to be wholly patient one day, kind the other, perhaps unselfish, understanding, appreciative, encouraging and whatever other values that come to mind.  It will be a resolution that is definitely out of the ordinary, but pregnant with the beauty of strong, admirable character. One who is strong in character is able to succeed in any goal purposed before him. This includes the commitment to lose weight, eating healthier, quitting smoking, getting organized and visiting family.

By surrounding yourself with positive, supportive encouragement you are already setting yourself up for success!  Adjusting your mindset for daily goals instead of yearly ambitions helps for a daily focus. While fulfilling aims for each day disciplines the mind it also prepares to make them habits.  Those habits along with the help of accountability partners will help keep you on track and goal oriented. Motivation, enthusiasm and purpose are essential to the fulfillment of any goal.

However, it is important that you keep in mind the disappointments and setbacks that can and will come along the way.  Do not become disheartened with slow progress — it is natural.  Perseverance and patience are significant in the long road to success. Remember the more difficult the journey the more rewarding the destination. Make a list of your previous accomplishments and seek to add on to it as the year progresses.  By the end of the year you would have realized you accomplished more than what you would have thought.

This New Year’s Eve, cheer to the past memories made and lessons learned; then, turn your gaze on the possibilities of opportunity and achievements for the coming year.  Keep in mind that it is the small steps between big decisions that bring great results.  But if you do happen to slip up, do not hesitate to jump back on the bandwagon. Stand firm, stay focused and strive for success.  Do not be afraid to set unusual goals because it is just that sort of thinking that will strengthen you physically, emotionally and mentally.  Look toward what you can do today and not for what you are ultimately shooting for. Good luck and have a happy and safe New Year!

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