New Year’s Resolutions: Dos and Don’ts

By Vanessa Moreno

vanessa.moreno@spartans.ut.edu

New Year’s resolutions are always a hot topic towards the end and start of a year. It’s what people look forward to for the next twelve months and how they set goals they want to achieve in that time period. 

Some resolutions, however, are the complete opposite from what someone’s normal routine and lifestyle is. If you’re someone that doesn’t go to the gym and makes a goal to do so four times a week for two hours, it will be harder to accomplish such a hefty goal early on. 

I’ve done it before. I used to have a huge list of things that I normally didn’t do that I wanted to accomplish. The pressure from trying to do all of these things at once would cause me to give up after a couple of weeks. New Year’s resolutions should be goals that you can achieve, and also not feel guilty about if you don’t. 

For this reason, I stopped making resolutions because I wanted to do so much and wanted to see results after the first couple of weeks. It also didn’t help that I would see social media posts about others who were still accomplishing theirs. It wasn’t a healthy mindset for me, so I didn’t make any resolutions for the past couple of years. This year I decided to start making resolutions again, but in a different way than before. 

Instead of making them broad or vague, I was specific on how I wanted to achieve them. For example, don’t just say that you want to eat healthier, say that you are going to cook at home four times a week instead of eating out. 

Don’t be hard on yourself if the goal isn’t met every week. If you cooked two times instead of four, pat yourself on the back for trying anyway. Or if you find that cooking four times a week feels like a chore, you can always decrease the number. 

In the podcast episode “New Year’s Resolutions” on Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain, she says, “It’s about being easy on yourself and adjusting your resolutions throughout the year to make them doable for you.”

Resolutions aren’t supposed to be something you dread doing. They’re supposed to be things that you are integrating into your routine, so it’s important that you look forward to doing your resolutions.

Also, breaking down your goals by the month or week will make them feel reachable. 

I used to say that I would go to the gym, but didn’t make a plan as to when. Just like the cooking example, tell yourself how many times a week or month you’ll do something.

These past two years have been a lot to handle mentally, so don’t put too much pressure on being the perfect version of yourself. If you meet your resolutions every single week, spoil yourself. If you don’t, still spoil yourself. 12 months, 52 weeks, and 365 days- that’s how much time you have to accomplish all the goals you want and more. 

There’s no rush to do everything within the first couple of months or weeks. If you do, what’s there to look forward to for the rest of the year? 

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