Keeping Up With the Resolutions – New Year’s Aftermath

By Adelia Sindunata

Here comes the time when people write their “New Year, New Me” list, better known as New Year resolutions. This thing is magical — it could make your nearest gym overpacked with people on the first two weeks of January. Other people might not hit the gym, but maybe their goals are to cut their spending and save their money.

Talking about New Year resolutions, I have a little story.

I am someone who checks their “On This Day” (OTD) section on Facebook daily. On regular days, my OTD section is filled mostly with derp selfies and cheesy quotes. However, OTD posts for Jan. 1 were special.

You guessed it correctly: they were all New Year resolutions. There were three lists: the first one was from 2010, followed by 2011 and 2015. I decided to start reading from the first one.

My 2010 resolutions list was my longest one, with seven goals listed. The first four items were common things such as “get good grades,” “make new friends,” “wake up early” and “be more organized.” However, the other three items were a bit special: “Be the class president,” “get into the SBA” and “learn a new language.”

Guess what? I accomplished none of them. Seems like 11-year-old Adelia was too ambitious.

I decided to scroll up to my 2011 list and there were five items. “Good grades,” “wake up early” and “make new friends” were stuck in the list, yet I had two more goals to be accomplished that year. Twelve-year-old Adelia decided that she wanted to learn taekwondo and French. That year, I managed to wake up earlier. I also started practicing taekwondo, but unfortunately I had to quit a year later due to a knee injury.

Meanwhile, I failed to achieve the other goals; but hey, at least I achieved two of them, which is better than nothing!

As time went by, my list kept shrinking, but I managed to achieve more. I only had three items in the 2015 goals list, and it was simple: graduate from high school successfully, gain admission to SCC and be more sociable. Somehow, I succeeded in accomplishing those goals. 2015 was the first year I could finally check off all the items in my New Year resolutions list.

By looking at the lists, I discovered something: As time went by, my lists got shorter, but I achieved more. What was happening?

In my opinion, shorter lists mean I do not have to divide my focus on too many tasks. It depends on the person; some people are good at doing multiple jobs at once, but in my case, doing everything simultaneously doesn’t work well. Also, when I was younger, I didn’t know how to prioritize things. Seven things to do were too much, and I gave up on all of them.

If you faced the same struggles to do your resolutions like I did a few years ago, here’s what you can do:

You might like to start with a little number. Ideally, it would be two or three goals, but no more than five. This lets you to focus more, since you don’t need to divide your focus on tons of tasks. I would suggest you start simple. For instance, if you eat junk food daily and want to change to a healthier habit, cut the frequency from daily to weekends. I still love junk food, so I know that it is almost impossible to quit immediately. Everything takes time, so it’s better to start with baby steps.

After you get used to the first step, you can challenge yourself to do more. In this case, if you can handle eating junk food only on the weekends, you might want to try to cut the frequency to every other weekend. Continue to do it until finally, you can control your craving for junk food. Congratulations, you did it! If you accomplished all of your goals and want more challenges, you can add more goals. But, if you feel like you’re okay with that, it’s completely fine, you can keep other goals for the upcoming year.

One thing to remember is you have to have a commitment in doing your goals. Don’t just stop when you achieve it and revert back to your old habits — it would waste your effort to change. Keep doing it!

“New Year, New Me” is not impossible bullshit. You can be a ‘new’ you as long as you know how to do it, and put effort and commitment on it. Good luck!