Three Ways to Keep Your Resolutions

Eric Lim/New University

Well my fellow Anteaters, 2012 is here and for us seniors, graduation is just around the corner. Unlike all my friends applying to grad school, med school or law school, I have no more education waiting for me after this year. And truth be told, that is a little terrifying.

With this crucial year lying ahead of me, I realized that I could either hide behind my couch, much like I did as a little kid after a horrifying Halloween fiasco, or I could look this year right in the eye and make plans. It is true when people say that you cannot completely change yourself in a year through one resolution, that a transformation of a person from where they are now to where they hope to be takes many, many years. But then again, you have to start somewhere, and why not now?

Let’s be honest, we have all had crash-and-burn attempts at New Year’s resolutions. Last year was the 13th time I attempted to give up biting my fingernails but sadly, bribery nor mental conditioning could stop my nails from looking like stubs that have been gnawed by a rabid squirrel.

Each year, we promise ourselves a new gym membership, a new body, better eating habits, to drink less and read more, to push and challenge ourselves, but at the end of the year, we have forgotten what hopes we had planned for ourselves 12 months before. It isn’t easy to have a resolution, but here are some tips that might help you become successful.

Write down the resolution and tape it somewhere you will see it every day.
It’s hard to forget something when it’s staring you right in the face each morning. Write your resolution on a piece of paper or a Post-it note to encourage yourself to keep chipping away at your goal. Taking it to the next level, on that same piece of paper, write down the reasons that you chose this resolution in the first place. Seeing all the reasons that you committed to this resolution will inspire you to put time aside in your day to take a run, cook an extra serving of vegetables or read an extra chapter in your book to stay ahead in your class.

Spread the word, tell your friends! If there is one thing that I have learned, for better or for worse, your friends will definitely remember the resolution you had hoped they would forget. “How is your gym membership?” “Weren’t you going to be a vegetarian for a year?” “Funny, your nails don’t look any longer.”
People hold you to your word and for those trying to keep their resolutions alive, make this work toward your advantage. Your dedication to your resolution might even help inspire your friends as well.

Make a resolution with a group!

It is hard to keep a resolution going when you are the only one changing your routine. It isn’t fun to go to a kick-boxing class and know that, while you are sweating buckets and feel as though at any moment you might keel over and die, your friends are off at the pub having a pitcher. To remedy this situation get your group involved in your New Year’s goals. Join a gym class together or take a cooking class as a group. If you and your friends continue to motivate one another, your resolution will not only be achievable but enjoyable as well.

Make a FUN resolution!

We have all made the, “I am going to get a six pack and eat only carrots to be healthy” resolution before. Then after about a month, we find the closest thing we have to a six pack is our beer in the fridge and the only orange things we own are Cheetos. Though a success to some people, this wasn’t really the original goal we were going for.

In celebration of 2012, the year where the Mayan calendar might end and “Transformers” will have to battle Evil for our planet, make a resolution that makes you happy. Challenge yourself to go to the beach once a week, have a dinner date with friends or go to the movies. Maybe this year is the year that you plan to go to Vegas with all your friends or take that trip to Big Bear to learn how to snow board. These kinds of resolutions will help remind you to take some time out of your packed, stressful life for yourself because in the end, these little moments are the ones that matter.

As for me, instead of sticking with the age-old idea that my fingernails will someday be able to scratch something, I vow that this year I will take advantage of my time left at UCI. With my Orange County bucket list in hand, I plan to enjoy my senior year to the fullest and wish you all a safe and memorable 2012.