It’s well past the first of January and already countless of seemingly hopeful lists of resolutions have been tossed aside, residing in the bottom of waste baskets, left to die under refrigerator magnets and washed up in jean pockets. According to Forbes, only 8 percent of the U.S population achieves their New Years resolution. So what’s happening with the other 92 percent? life is the answer.
Retaining resolutions is even harder for students: with classes, sports, work and other daily stresses, another list is the last thing a student needs. The common approach to New Year’s resolutions needs a drastic makeover: it should be seen as making a positive, permanent change in your lifestyle—not just checking something off a list.
Choose one goal: Don’t make a To-Do list
Focus on one thing you’d like to change—and stick with it. If you overwhelm yourself with a lengthy list, the less likely you’ll be to have success. Once you experience success with a single goal, you’ll have the confidence to tackle others.
Respect yourself and your goals
If you don’t take yourself seriously, chances are you won’t take your goals seriously.
Be honest and realistic
No one knows your strengths and weaknesses better than you. Make sure you take these into consideration when planning a resolution. Break one goal down into pieces. If your goal is to be able to run three miles and you can hardly run up a flight of stairs, consider making your goal more manageable like running one mile.
Don’t take the path of least resistance
Although it’s important to make realistic goals, don’t sell yourself short. The whole point of a resolution is to challenge yourself- and not just temporarily.
Have a plan of attack
Vague goals don’t give you enough direction to accomplish what you need to. If you write out a plan each week, you’ll be more likely to stay on the desired path.
Talk about your goals
Blog, tweet, post and chat away. Involve your friends and keep them informed about your goals, successes and even failures. PUtting yourself out there socially motivates you to hold yourself accountable.
Blogs, blogs, blogs
The Internet can be misleading, but if you look in the right places, it can be an amazing resource. It’s highly probable that you’ll find someone online who is an expert about the resolution you’re trying to reach. Good blogs feature real advice from real people. Make your own blog or Twitter journaling your progress: use it as a personal journal and to receive positive feedback from followers.
Almost no one has 100 percent, perfect willpower. Designate one day of the week for a small cheat—it makes the process less painful.
Do it for yourself
Don’t do it to impress others—that will come on its own. Do it for the sake of changing your lifestyle for the better and make yourself proud.
ADVICE FROM AN EXPERT
If organization, whether in academics or daily life, is your resolution, Patricia Haddeland, director of Student Health, Wellness and Counseling, knows best.
“We always tell people to maintain a schedule and to use whatever tools they can in our technology based world.
“We know that when people have trouble with their sleep, they don’t stay organized, so they should be getting seven and a half to nine hours a night; it makes a difference in how you manage your day.
“Just like with a diet or New Years resolution, some people believe if they blow it, that it’s all over. Every day is a new day to practice your skills.”
The Linfield College Student Health, Wellness and Counseling Center offers a variety of services, including a Dealing with Stress counseling group. For more information, contact email@example.com
Chrissy Shane/Features editor
Chrissy Shane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org