Having this “assignment” for almost every class always seemed like a nuisance to me. I would be studying for tests, and teachers would be asking me to write a practical New Year’s resolution. What could be the use of figuring out what I should do next year when this year isn’t over and I still have a biology test to study for? Well, the answer is in the question. Next year is almost here, and what we do now is already impacting our success next year. For all intents and purposes, it is next year, and it will be over again before we know it. If we’re not careful, though, it might also be over before we have a chance to improve.
If you’re like me, writing a New Year’s resolution might seem like a waste of time at first, but think about everything you wish you could change about this first half of the year. Maybe you never left yourself enough time to study before a big test. Maybe you didn’t prioritize your homework and aren’t doing as well as you’d like in one or two of your classes. Maybe your challenge lies outside of the realm of school work. Whoever you are, chances are you have room to grow, as we all do, and a resolution for the New Year can actually help, despite what you might think. It wasn’t until I finished high school that I truly realized what a new game plan every year could do for me, but now I set a resolution every year. More often than not, I set a list of resolutions to talk myself into improvement.
If you’ve written down what you need to change about your habits and why, you’re already a step closer to making changes. Sure, there’s no guarantee that you’ll follow through, but at least you have a better understanding of yourself, what’s holding you back, and what you need to do to combat your personal obstacles. Some people say it’s best to set only one resolution, but it depends on who you are. If you’re trying to figure out your own challenges, make a list.
If you’re really striving to change something specific that you already know needs to change, focus on that. If you’re considering writing one of these resolutions (or a list of them), make sure to make them SMART resolutions so that they’re more likely to meet a successful end. In a previous post, I talked about setting goals for a new school year, and this relates closely to New Year’s resolutions. No matter what type of resolution you’re setting, whether it be school-related, work-related, or otherwise, always make them SMART resolutions. SMART resolutions, just like goals, should:
Include specific tasks to be accomplished.
Have a measurable objective and outcome to verify that you’ve followed through on your resolution.
Be realistically attainable so that you don’t set out to accomplish the impossible.
Be relevant to your needs in specific areas of your life, including your school, work and personal life.
Be time-based so that you give yourself a set date to have your resolution(s) fulfilled.
For a great guide with tips and information on New Year’s resolutions, check out this guide created by a Virginia medical center’s staff. It has tips to creating resolutions, common pitfalls, and examples of SMART goals that all pertain to healthy living. Even though your resolution(s) might not deal with being healthier, it’s a great guide to look through for ideas and advice.
What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2016? How do you plan to follow through on your goals?