New Year’s indecision: Are resolutions impossible, or obtainable?

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Geneva Nodland

nodlandge@mnstate.edu

We’ve all been guilty of convincing ourselves to work out or eat better at the beginning of the year, just to break that pledge by the end of the month. But how many people actually stick to their plan?

According to Forbes.com, of the 40 percent of Americans who pledge to a resolution, only 8 percent carry out their goals. So what is the problem?

Most people set drastic and unrealistic goals for themselves. I’d like to believe that every single person can work on their resolution like they plan, but most of us do have a life. Time is probably one of the biggest issues when it comes to keeping one.

The majority of resolutions fail because of exactly that; we make an impractical pact that’s hard to fit into our schedule, leading to stress and giving up before completing it. That does not sound like a very positive way to begin your year. So what can we do to make the vow “new year, new me” come true?

Be practical, plan details and encourage ourselves.

Resolutions need to be realistic. You should be able to see yourself doing and completing your goal in the future. Losing weight is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions, yet one of the hardest goals to start and commit to. Most people will make very impractical targets for themselves, like wanting to lose 30 pounds in a month or promising to go to the gym every single day starting Jan. 1. While these steps may be possible for some, not everyone can accomplish them. Rather than choosing an outrageous end goal, making a plan with rational milestones will lead to a much more efficient and attainable end.

Details are very important in making a plan. Setting aside specific times to complete your goal will help you follow the necessary steps. For example, if someone is attempting to eat better, they should plan out their meals ahead of time or give themselves a budget for that month’s food. If someone is looking to improve their mental health, they need to define precisely what they want to work on. A schedule will largely help with the process of committing to a resolution longer than the first month, let alone the first couple weeks.

Finally, as cheesy as it sounds, believing in yourself is an important part of any goal you set. It’s more difficult for some than others to change, even if it’s just a small shift. Think about the reason you made the goal, and remember it’s OK to encourage yourself.

New Year’s resolutions have a reputation of being loaded with empty promises and unattainable goals, but they don’t have to be. Don’t focus on the end; decide what you want to change, make a plan and remind yourself to keep sticking with it.

In 2018, let’s change the statistic of accomplishing our New Year’s resolutions.

 

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