Resolutions: the art of (hopefully) not failing

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Resolutions: the art of (hopefully) not failing

Paige Oatney

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It’s only a month into the year and you’ve probably already failed. Well, according to statistics, that is. With the New Year just rolling past, 60 percent of Americans will make resolutions with the “new year, new me” idea in their heads where dreams come true with the changing of a number on the date. Of these resolutions though, only 6-8 percent of people will actually stick to them.

This tradition of making promises that hopefully last a full 365 (or 366) days has been around for a few thousand years. New Year’s resolutions originally started in the Babylonian times when the Babylonians would make sacrifices to their Gods at the start of each new year. They would return things borrowed and repay any old debts, giving them a clean slate. This was also the same for the Romans who started their years by making promises to the God Janus, who January is named after and who is the God of new beginnings. These days, though, these resolutions are mainly secular and are for one’s own benefit.

The majority of resolutions in the United States revolve around health and fitness with almost 72 percent of people making these goals about wanting to become healthier. Research done by Strava, a fitness app, showed that by Jan. 12th a person’s motivation for a healthier lifestyle may begin to falter. They named it “‘Quitters’ Day”, referencing  the number of people who drop their resolutions, or being to drop them, before the end of the first month.

By February, more than half of the people who have made resolutions will have already given up. Up to 80 percent of people will be not willing to try anymore to achieve their dream. But some people are tired of not making it through this dreaded first month, and if this resonates with you, here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve your 2019 goals and resolutions:

  • Start by listing out your top goal topics like fitness, cooking or reading.
    • Choose one topic and narrow it down into one specific goal.
    • Your goal can start small and, after working and integrating it into your life, you can later make it bigger and more challenging, so don’t feel ashamed for whatever you decide your goal is.
  • Once you have your goal, write it down on a piece of paper somewhere.
    • The more vague the goal is, the worse the outcome will be; “I will workout more” gives less structure for your goal than “I will work out three times a week for at least an hour”.
    • Make sure you see this paper with your goal everyday for motivation and because you are 42 percent more likely to reach your goal if you write it down.
  • Start working now! The more you procrastinate, the less likely you are to make it happen.
    • Use the “5 Second Rule”  where you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will dismiss the idea in your head. The moment you feel an instinct or a desire to act on a goal or a commitment, use the rule to achieve it.
  • Keep track of your goal.
    • When, where, and how long you did it for
  • Know what you are doing before you jump into it.
    • Make sure you know how to do something before you start doing it and find out three months later you’ve been doing it completely and entirely wrong.
    • It takes 2300 reps for something to become a habit – make sure that you know what you’re doing from the get-go.
  • The more you do it, the easier it gets, so challenge yourself. As soon as it gets easy, make it slightly harder.
    • But, don’t over challenge yourself. If you have been working out for an hour 3 times a week, work out for an hour and a half four times a week. Don’t amp it up to three hours everyday Your body will literally fall apart. Do what you can until your body gets stronger and gets used to it
  • If you realize that you don’t like it or your resolution is not for you, change it!
    • It shouldn’t be an excuse to change your resolution when you haven’t been successful in it. If something isn’t working for you, don’t continue it. If you want to become vegan but realize that your body is not receiving enough nutrition from the food that you are eating, don’t continue and make sure that your health comes first.
  • Know that you won’t be perfect. Changing your lifestyle is hard and takes time
    • Don’t give up as soon as you mess up. Dig deep down, get back up and work harder to make it back to where you were

And voila! Before you know it, 2019 will be over and you’ll be raining in 2020 by being an expert at goal setting and finishing your resolutions. Not to mention, with the help from this year, you’ll have some experience under your wings to guide you and help you soar.

Want to see how most resolutions actually end up? Check out MaKenna Crary and Lydia Colvin story “Every New Year’s Resolution Ever” for a realistic view.