Auburn Family

Make New Year's Goals Instead of Resolutions

Each year on December 31, the question always arises: “What am I going to do differently this year?" For many people, the resolutions they make in the New Year are the same ones as the year before because they never followed through with them. 

After interviewing several students at Auburn, I learned something important about resolutions. A resolution should be looked at as more of a goal rather than an ongoing, endless aspiration. A resolution should be something that has a finish line and is realistic for you to accomplish.

One of Megan Haidinger's, a senior at Auburn, resolutions was to read 12 books in 2017. So far she says, “reading one book a month, or 12 this year, has been the hardest for me. With school and applying for jobs, it’s been a little hard to find time to read.” 

I asked Haidinger if there were any resolutions she could have made that were more realistic and she said, “I think my resolutions this year are reasonable and doable. I’ve definitely failed in the past but wanted to be someone who kept up with them this year, so I worded them specifically so they’d be encouraging.”

Nora Murphy, another senior at Auburn, said, “I have had so many unrealistic New Year’s resolutions so many times before and once I started setting goals I could actually reach, I felt very accomplished and good about myself.”

In contrast to Haidinger and Murphy, other Auburn students I interviewed made the typical resolutions to “lose weight” or “eat healthily.” These students, while not completely failing, have not stuck to their promises. I asked one student, Rebecca Earnest, why it was difficult for her to stay on track to eat healthily and exercise every day and she said, “Strictly because of school. I feel like when I get busy, school comes first and me comes last.”

Another student, Amber Thomas, said she was having trouble because “Cooking at home goes out the window Friday night through Sunday.” It is important when making your resolutions to remember that life is going to get in the way, so your resolutions should fit your schedule.

While setting the goal to work out and eat better is great, it should also be realistic to your lifestyle. If you're a full- time student it is probably better to make your resolution to work out three to five times a week. You're giving yourself some room to work with and you won't feel as bad about yourself for not working out every day. Sometimes it isn't feasible with a busy schedule.

After talking with the Auburn students mentioned above, I made note of some helpful tips to help make sure the only thing you are repeating in the New Year is new accomplishments. Those tips are to stay realistic and true to yourself, set a timetable or finishing point, making your resolutions encouraging and follow through with the goals you set for yourself because the feeling of accomplishment is something worth working all year for.

Running a marathon, learning how to cook, studying a week in advance of a test instead of the night before, reading a certain number of books or learning how to play a new instrument are all great resolutions to set at the start of a New Year. Try something new every year, it keeps life exciting and expands your knowledge.

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