Keep your resolutions by checking in one step at a time
Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 22:01
When New Year‘s Eve is about to begin, whether at a wild party to ring in the New Year or at home with Ryan Seacrest, Americans are excited to watch the ball drop, wishing Dick Clark was still alive and making resolutions for a healthy and prosperous new year.
Those resolutions range from losing weight to enjoying life more, from quitting smoking to becoming more organized, as well as spending more time with friends and family, among many others.
Curiosly, this wasn’t the case at FGCU when students were asked about making New Year’s resolutions.
“By making a New Year’s resolution, I feel like it’s just this massive goal staring you in the face that becomes intimidating, so I’d rather not make one and make smaller changes or adjustments as my environment changes,” said Kaley Dietrich, a sophomore history major.
The same idea came from senior communication student Zach Goodchild. He also did not make a New Year’s resolution.
“I did not make a New Year’s resolution because I tend to think [of] New Year’s resolution as wishy-washy. People usually don’t follow through with them. I’m the type of person that I don’t need to set a goal at a certain time of year to get certain things in my life in order. I like to carry out short term and long term goals throughout the year,” Goodchild said.
Now for the $1 million question on this subject: How does someone keep these resolutions and not slack on promises of improvement in the New Year?
The answer to that question comes from the pages of the now digital Newsweek magazine: Dr. David Spiegel, associate professor and director of the Center on Stress and Health -- Stanford School of Medicine, stated the first rule to accept is that changing lifestyle behavior is very hard to accomplish, especially in communities that encourage bad behavior.
Another helpful tip from Spiegel: When setting resolutions, you should set reasonable goals along the way to reach the main resolution. For example: Instead of wanting to lose 40 pounds by May, change the goal to a pound a week, or instead of vowing to eat a salad every day, shift that goal to a salad for lunch twice a week.
Finally, Spiegel says to always give encouragement when things go well. Americans in the 21st century are often too impatient and want change magically, often without any effort or challenges to accomplish a specific goal, but patience plus effort plus commitment equals a better life in the new year.
Resolutions should never just be reserved for the start of a new year, but should be made whenever a person wants to make a significant change in his or her life. The person making a resolution needs be reasonable with the goal. Take the process a day at a time and always give self-praise when goals are being accomplished, because good things truly come to those who are patient, persistent and diligent in their pursuit of a better life.