New Year’s Resolution Check-In

by Emilee Burroughs

Whether you made a New Year’s resolution to exercise regularly, eat healthier, go to bed earlier, or stop stealing people’s bikes to get around campus (kidding!), you have probably realized by now that making resolutions is a lot easier than keeping them. But don’t feel discouraged if you’re struggling to reach the goal you set for yourself: you’re not alone! From our super-scientific survey that we sent out to students (see graphs), we found that roughly 8% of people who responded haven’t kept their New Year’s resolutions. So if you fall in that 8%, keep reading for ways to get back on track.

Keep at it!
According to a study, it takes, on average, two months for people to develop a new habit (Lally et al). This being said, it will take some time to turn a new practice into a habit. So don’t be discouraged if you still haven’t made going to the Cage a routine thing. Just keep it up and be patient!

Set small goals.
Instead of making giant, hard-to-reach goals, make smaller, more attainable goals. When you reach these goals, you’ll feel proud, which in turn will give you an incentive to keep making and reaching new goals. You can gradually build up to a bigger goal once you’ve met the smaller ones. Charles Duhig, author of The Power of Habit points out that making one significant change can have a ripple effect that leads to bigger and greater changes.  (Check out this video for a powerful example of that fact.) Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier? Then make it your goal to cut back on dessert by eating only one D-Hall cookie.

Be proud of yourself.
While it can be easy to get frustrated with yourself for breaking your New Year’s resolution, you should be proud of yourself for all of the amazing things you accomplished in 2016. Did you make the Dean’s List? Way to go! Did you get out of your comfort zone and try something new, like climbing the high ropes at BOLD? That’s great! Think back on all of the things you did and be proud of those accomplishments. Then make it your goal to accomplish more amazing things this year.

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