New Year’s resolutions are just one of those things. The pain in your side. The irritating question you get a few minutes before the ball drops in New York City; “What’s your New Year’s resolution?”
The common cycle that a lot of people, including myself, have experienced is making a resolution, sticking to it for a couple of weeks, and then ending up either losing motivation or being unable to maintain their scheduled goals.
It can be really discouraging to set these high expectations for yourself going into the new year but then be unable to follow through.
I set myself a New Year’s resolution and I picked something that I thought would be able to fit into my school, work, and internship schedule without making me feel overwhelmed. I set the resolution to read one book a month and, so far, I’ve been able to keep up with it. I knew that going too far out of my realistic capability was just going to be a self-dug grave. At the end of the day, what matters most is that I feel accomplished with what I do.
Another one of my personal goals for this year is that I want to read one book a month of whatever genre. So far I’m keeping up with that by replacing whatever time I would be ‘doom-scrolling’ through TikTok or binging “Criminal Minds,” with reading my book. I’m not giving up my phone time completely, but I’m swapping out some time so I can meet my goals at a pace that makes sense for me.
When it comes to setting new resolutions, you should not feel like you need to set some grandiose and overarching goal that feels too big to accomplish. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am always one for having big, optimistic goals. I tell myself all the time that everything I want to happen in my life will happen in its own time. I also know that setting realistic benchmarks for myself is going to be the stepping stone to what I want to do in the future, near and far. I, like most people, love the feeling of being able to check off something from my “To Do” list. Ignoring the fact that sometimes I am a chronic procrastinator, feeling productive and completing my work within my schedule is like getting to eat dessert when you finish your vegetables. Balance!
I will find myself at the ‘procrastination station’ quite often. If I can get myself to do something ahead of time, that is a little win on my books, all while I’m accomplishing my resolutions on my own time.
Let’s be honest, the actual want to do homework is slim to none, but the need to do well in my courses exceeds that. If I can manage to get one homework assignment that week done the same day it’s assigned, that is a win in my book.
The moral of the story is: don’t get ahead of yourself. Take some time to step towards your goals while also giving yourself some forgiveness and leniency if you slip up a bit. Take it one small bite at a time because you’ll soon look up and see you’ve met your goals, and maybe picked up some new, good habits.
Keep in mind that, regardless of when you set new goals, it is never too late to start something new or get back on the wagon. Whether you want to get better grades, lose weight, gain weight, get the promotion, start a new hobby, or overall just feel better about yourself, it is never too late.
In fact, scrap the idea that you need to wait until January to start new resolutions, and make miniresolutions to yourself all the time. Who says you can’t make a new year’s resolution in March or September? In my eyes, the point of New Year’s resolutions is to start something that is going to benefit you in the long run. There is no timeline to follow, and if you are making 1% progress every day, my friends, you are making that progress on your own time, and you should be proud of yourself. Make goals for yourself that work for you and nobody else.
Abby Provencal can be contacted at