By Emily Hall
Time flies—and with it, another year filled with lifelong memories and unforgettable experiences.
As long as time has existed, the end of the old year and the coming of the New Year has been symbolic for change; therefore, a new calendar year is a benchmark for breaking old habits or trying to implement new ones. We call them New Year’s resolutions.
At the beginning of the year, people who make resolutions may be diligent in adhering to their changes. For the first few weeks, they vow to study more hours upon starting the new quarter, yet become sidetracked by extracurricular activities, or family and work obligations. The goal they set at the beginning of the year is unrealistic because it may not match their daily habits. Without any clear expectations they set for themselves, this person fails to become a better student.
In order to make a New Year’s resolution easier to achieve, it must be structured. It must be realistic. One must be able to picture in their head accomplishing their goals in order for their mind to manifest the steps to success. For example, if they wished to be a better student, what would that look like? A good student is somebody who maintains satisfactory grades because they arrive to class on time and complete all assignments given to them; additionally, they take responsibility for their academic success by asking help if need be. In order to be a better student, what aspects do you desire to improve the most?
This is why forming a realistic New Year’s resolution involves being open to change. Being able to keep an open mind allows one to accept reality and embrace the future as an opportunity to improve. If getting good grades involves studying three hours more per week, then it is acceptable to sacrifice some free time to achieve your resolution to do better in school. This opens up doors for higher endeavors in the long run.
With a mind open to change, this allows the ability to start planning a resolution to come true. Planning is everything. They say that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. It is similar to driving somewhere random without a map. If a person wishes to implement three more hours of studying per week, how will they find the time for that in their schedule? This person may consider investing in a planner or making use of a calendar to manage and schedule their study sessions in order to accommodate their lives as students.
Successful New Year’s resolutions should not fade, they should last throughout the entire year and eventually become habits; however, it is easy to return to old ways. As the year progresses and the weather starts improving, it may be tempting to spend more hours outside to catch glimpse of the little sunlight Washington provides. There is no reason to avoid enjoying the outdoors whenever the weather is nice; instead, one is able to enjoy the sunshine by moving their textbooks outside, paired with a glass of cold lemonade and some relaxing music. The concept is to make accommodations and variations to the new habits you plan to implement, in order to avoid becoming too burnt out.
One more idea to consider when developing New Year’s resolutions is determining how success can be attained. What are the outcomes of achieving set goals, and how does one figure out if they fulfilled their promises made at the beginning of the year? A year’s worth of efforts of studying three extra hours every week will most likely result in a higher grade point average (GPA), giving the student a more competitive edge for scholarships and transfer admissions. If this is an improvement to the results from the previous year, then it is a personal success and should be celebrated.
Making structured goals to follow throughout the year can warrant lasting results and bring more prosperity for the future; furthermore, they must be adhered to and one must be patient and persistent in order to reap the success from working hard all year long. The objective of these resolutions is to be welcoming and receptive to change—making 2016 matter.