Don’t expect change with mindset of ‘new year, new me’

By Breanna Nichols

Personally, I don’t buy into the theory that the beginning of a new year is the beginning of a new and improved me. I prefer to set new goals when I become motivated by something.

However, for many Americans there is something intriguing about starting a fresh year that inspires them to set new goals.

According a Journal of Clinical Psychology study, between 40 and 45 percent of adults in America make at least one resolution each year. The study adds that only 64 percent of resolutions made have been kept.

With such discouraging statistics, I wonder why people continue to make resolutions. Also considering the top resolutions are almost always health related in some way, it seems like the same resolutions are being made again and again each year to no avail.

New Year’s resolutions always seem to lapse into old habits by February.

Although I’m not a fan of making New Year’s resolutions, I do agree with regularly taking time to plan out reasonable self-adjustments or habits that can be made during any time of the year and sticking to those changes.

Setting and achieving a goal and then creating another one can be very motivational.

This leads me to question why the same goals are made each year by so many people and why so many of those same people are failing to achieve those goals.

We have just passed the two-week mark since New Year’s Eve, and more than 71 percent of resolutions made have been kept, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology’s study. I have compiled a short list on ways to maintain resolutions as we are approaching the next two weeks, when the percentage of kept resolutions will drop to 64 percent.

First of all, it is important to stop kidding yourself and realize that new habits can be formed at any time. There is no need to wait until the new year to get healthy, stop spending so much, become more organized, etc.

With that being said, if you have already given up on your resolution for this year, I encourage you to set a new goal for yourself and start again.

Goals should always be realistic. There is nothing wrong with setting a goal, accomplishing it and then creating another goal to advance. Not only does accomplishing the first goal you set give you motivation, it makes it easier to track your progress. It’s a way of encouraging yourself rather than burning yourself out.

Evaluate your goals. If this is a goal you have made once or even twice before and have yet to accomplish it, really look into what has happened to hinder your progress in the past and what changes you will make this time around to lead you to success.

Talk about your goal. If you are vocal about what you’re trying to accomplish, you’re more likely to stick to it, and those people with whom you share your resolution can hold you accountable.

The number of days it takes for a new activity to become a habit is different for everyone.

As long as you are enjoying what you are doing and encouraging yourself along the way, those changes will eventually become part of your personality resulting in a better, more confident version of yourself.

Breanna Nichols is a senior journalism major from Dallas and is a reporter for the Lariat.