New year, new me

Jordyn Bew, Entertainment Editor

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The New Year has many people reevaluating some of their life choices. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity for all those who have failed to start making the changes that they said they would make. Making a New Year’s resolution is a great way to make a positive change in your life, whether it’s going to the gym, waking up earlier, or saving your money. But, it’s very rare you’ll stick to your resolutions for the whole year. According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February, so the odds are against you.  More than half of all resolutions fail, but this year, it doesn’t have to be yours. Here’s how to identify the right resolution to improve your life, create a plan on how to reach it, and become a member of the small group of people that successfully achieve their goal.

Pick the Right Resolution

You’ll give yourself your best chance at success if you set a goal that’s doable — and meaningful too.

A lot of resolutions fail because they’re not the right resolutions. And a resolution may be wrong for a few reasons:

– It’s one created based on what someone else (or society) is telling you to change.

– It’s too vague.

– You don’t have a realistic plan for accomplishing it.

Your goals should be SMART. That’s an acronym coined in the journal Management Review for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

Create Your Plan

Your end goal won’t just magically appear. Here are ways to figure out how to get there.

Because you won’t just wake up and change your life, you not only need a plan for what to do but also for what challenges you’ll come across along the way.

If you’re trying to form or break a habit, break down that habit into its three parts: a cause, a routine, and a reward.

For example:

Bad Habit: I check social media too often.

Cause: I feel isolated.

Routine: I check social media.

Reward: I feel connected.

Way to change the behavior: Instead of checking social media, get up and talk to a friend or family member.

But while your plan should be realistic and encouraging, it should also allow for inevitable difficulties that are going to pop up. Any New Years resolution plan should have room for mistakes. Don’t punish yourself. Focus on the good you’re doing for yourself rather than what mistake you made.

Fight through Resolution problems

No one’s perfect, and your journey for completing your resolution won’t be either. But you can get back on track.

What’s the best way to tackle problems that begin on your way to success? First, remember no matter how well you plan, change is hard. “You’re up against a part of yourself that’s never going to change. It’s always going to push at you in certain directions that are unhealthy. You’re going to have to really create something step by step in order to manage it,” said Dr. Michael Bennett, a psychiatrist and self-help book author.

Set a plan, but be flexible when life gets in the way.

It’s important to learn how to have a backup plan rather than just giving up.

The promise of the new year is very exciting; it is an opportunity to start fresh and try something new. While everyone deserves a new beginning, especially after the holidays, the thought of New Year’s resolutions brings around pressures and expectations that we have to completely reinvent ourselves. New year, new you…right?

Wrong.

Whether you choose to make a resolution or not, a personal change in the new year is not always necessary but it can be nice for yourself and the people around you.

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