Achieving your New Year’s Resolution

Every year after the holidays, Americans start thinking about their resolutions for the new year, and this year was no exception. 59% of young adults ages 18-34 set New Year’s resolutions, with the most popular resolution being to exercise more. New Year’s resolutions tend to focus on improving a certain aspect or multiple aspects of a person’s life. Some common resolutions are related to physical health such as eating healthier, exercising or getting more sleep. Others want to improve their mental health and well-being by reading more books, taking breaks, and spending less time on their phones or social media. 

It is important to distinguish between a resolution and a goal. While both are admirable things to work towards, a resolution differs from a goal in that it is a change you want to make in your life while a goal is something you want to achieve. For example, a resolution would be to eat healthier food while a goal would be to lose ten pounds by the end of the year. A goal can help you meet your resolution. 

Most Americans give up on their resolutions early in the year. 23% of resolution-setters quit within the first week of the year, and only 36% make it past January. At times, it can seem that New Year’s resolutions are destined to be forgotten, and that American culture normalizes this cycle of resolving and failing. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure you achieve yours. 

One way to maintain your resolution is to make it specific. Rather than saying you want to get good grades, declare that you want to improve your grade in science to a B and maintain an A in all of your other classes. 

It can also be effective to set microresolutions, like committing to drinking more water by carrying a reusable water bottle around with you all the time. You can also break your resolution into small pieces and have benchmarks throughout the year to measure your progress. 

Tell your family and friends about your resolution so they can support you and make it easier for you to keep your resolution, as well as provide advice on how to best achieve it. 

Don’t expect that you will be able to change all of your habits overnight. Remember that it took a lot of time to develop your current habits, so it will also take time to replace them with better ones. Keep a written record of your progress with the struggles and successes you have experienced. This is proof that you are trying to improve yourself and makes it easier to see how far you have come. 

Don’t give up on your resolution if you make one mistake, like not having time to exercise one day or accidentally spending too much time on your phone. Give yourself permission to make mistakes rather than force yourself to be perfect. This will ultimately be the most sustainable way to make a change in your life. 

Even if your resolution seems so exciting and achievable in January, it is okay if you start to feel tired of it after a while. You can stop and start again after taking a break. It can sometimes seem especially daunting to start at the beginning of the year since you feel like you have to keep up the resolution for so long. Who’s to say you can’t have birthday resolutions or summer resolutions? You can improve your life at any point in the year rather than waiting for a new year.

No matter what your resolution is this year, the Legacy staff wishes you success and hopes you have a wonderful 2023!

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