News

How to set realistic New Year’s resolutions

by Miriam Mohamadi

 It’s time to set those New Year’s resolutions!

With the new year around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your New Year’s resolutions. The reality is, many of us struggle to stick with our resolutions and few of us are able to actually achieve them. The key to creating a New Year’s resolution that you stick to is making sure that the goals you set are realistic.

Here are some tips for setting realistic New Year’s resolutions:

It’s a new year, but not a new you

While it’s a new year, you’re most likely not going to become a whole new person in the span of twelve months. Expecting to become a new version of yourself is unrealistic and puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on you. Setting realistic New Year’s resolutions means creating goals that are going to help you achieve something you’ve always wanted to do or to better some part of your life. Embrace who you are and create goals that will help enhance your life, not change it. This way, you’ll be much more likely to stick to your goal and it won’t seem as unmanageable.

Coffee on top of an open agenda on a white table

Be real with yourself

Take a hard look at your habits and behavioural patters. At this point, you have a pretty good understanding of how well you’re able to achieve your goals. When you’re setting your New Year’s resolutions, you should adjust them according to what you know you’re able to achieve. If you struggle to achieve results or have trouble multitasking, set one New Year’s resolution instead of four. If you’re a go-getter who lives for smashing goals then set several resolutions that you can work on throughout the year. Be real with yourself and set goals that you know are attainable with your pace and way of living.

Wooden table with brown stationary items sprawled on it

Stop that “all or nothing” thinking

One of the reasons why New Year’s resolutions fail is because people have an “all or nothing” mindset. Your goals don’t have to be achieved within a small time period, in fact, you’re much more likely to stick to it if you work on it at your own pace. Habits, and change in general, are hard to break and to get used to. Going into the new year with a mindset that you won’t make any mistakes or slip up is unrealistic. Instead of quitting right when you slip up, pick yourself up and keep going! Remember, it’s a journey and it will take some time to get it right.

white weather vane against blue sky

Break down big goals

Looking to make a major change or achieve something big? It’s easy to look at a big goal and think that there’s no way you can do it. Instead, break it down into smaller goals that will help you achieve that big end-goal. Want to get around to finally writing that novel? Break that goal down by setting a smaller goal to write three pages everyday. Planning on running a half marathon in 2018? Set a goal to increase your distance by 1 km every week. By breaking down your big New Year’s resolution, your goal won’t seem as unattainable. A major benefit in this is that you’ll also feel more motivated to reach your big goal as you hit all of your smaller goals along the way.

Athletic girl sitting on top of a mountain overlooking several mountains against a clear sky

You may need more than a year

Change takes time. Depending on what your resolution is, you may need more than a year to achieve it. Setting a realistic New Year’s resolution means that you also set an accurate and realistic time-frame for achieving it. Sometimes we don’t hit all the goals that we set, and that’s okay! Take a look at what you’ve achieved so far and keep going. You’ve laid down the groundwork, and now you can work on perfecting it in 2018.  If you didn’t achieve everything that you wanted to this year, learn from your mistakes and keep going. Every year is a new opportunity to get it right!

Small white clock being held up by a hand


Need some more advice on keeping your New Year’s resolutions? Check out these 8 tips for keeping your New Year’s resolutions.

IGNITE has a lot of events planned for next semester so make sure you stay up-to-date by checking our events page and by following us on Facebook and Twitter.