Opinion: Henry

Some of the top News Year's resolutions include losing weight, saving money and quitting old habits. Columnist Henry believes the key to keeping your resolutions is to keep trying after you fail.

Atypical rite of passage each new year is making New Year’s resolutions. It’s a chance for us to clean off our slates and start over. However, more often than not, we seem to be able to break those resolutions rather than keep them. Once broken, we give up and keep going on with whatever was detrimental in our lives.

Why stop? Whether you’re trying to budget yourself, spend less money, lose weight, or call your mom more, your resolutions are possible if you come up with a concrete plan, stay focused and positive, and motivate yourself to have the willpower to tackle those tough resolutions.

Any addiction, bad habit, et cetera, is extremely difficult to stop cold turkey and any major improvement can’t be made overnight. Instead of worrying that we’ve broken our resolutions after fourteen days, we should be optimistic about the amount of time that we have left in the year to keep those resolutions and improve ourselves. You’ll revert to your old habits occasionally, but that should be a setback rather than a reason to quit working towards what you want to achieve.

It’s important to remind yourself that major changes in habits or routines take effort and an amount of willpower that you’re probably not used to. When you don’t believe that you can accomplish your goals and resolutions, you’ll start to undermine yourself without realizing that you are. As cliche as it sounds, positive thinking can go a long way in terms of accomplishing what you’re striving for. Remind yourself of the positive effects that your goals will have on your life if you achieve them. Create a list of what will improve once you achieve your goals. That will motivate you to keep working hard toward your goals and resolutions.

Don’t challenge yourself to take on a bunch of tough goals. You may lose track of your goals and the end products that you want to achieve. Try setting one main long-term goal for yourself. You’ll be able to channel your energy into it and focus on your plan and your desired end products. Tell your friends and family what you are working toward. You’ll be able to have people to keep you accountable and you’ll thank them later once you’ve reached your finish line.

Making New Year’s resolutions should be the same as setting any goal. Make sure they are attainable and reasonable for you to accomplish in 365 days. Set steps that you can take so that at the end of the year, you can look back with pride at all you accomplished. If you’re tech-savvy, there are loads of smart phone apps that can help you keep track of and achieve your goals and have it accessible 24/7. Think of your New Year’s resolutions and goals as self improvement.

If you’re addicted to caffeine, don’t try and kick the habit in a week. It won’t work. I’ve tried to make this my resolution many years in a row. I wasn’t unsuccessful because it wasn’t an attainable goal, I was unsuccessful because I went about it in a way that didn’t work. Few people can put themselves on a rigorous habit-kicking plan and succeed.

If you want to stop a bad habit or cut an addiction like caffeine, it’s better to make your resolution less about eliminating completely and more about cutting back. Identify what triggers your bad habit and as you gradually start to cut back, it will be easier for you to eliminate when the time comes.

While you’re eliminating your habits, it could be helpful to add a positive goal while eliminating your negative habit. This will help distract you from triggers that may tempt you to return to your bad habits. Pick things that are cohesive so it’s easier for you to balance both. If you’re trying to cut back on junk food, try eating more fruits and vegetables and drinking more water. You’ll experience the health benefits of cutting out junk food as well as the benefits of eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Whatever you want to accomplish this year, remember that the path towards a better 2013 isn’t going to happen in a few weeks. Expect speed bumps and setbacks, but counter them with willpower and positive thinking. You’ll thank yourself for overcoming setbacks and accomplishing your goals instead of giving up on them all together.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Katie Henry is a senior in journalism and political science from Pella, Iowa.

Opinion Policies

Editorials are longer opinion pieces that are written by a group of community members recruited across campus who address relevant issues on a local, national and international level. Editorials are research-based. The purpose of the Editorial Board is to promote discussion concerning relevant issues in the community while advising on possible solutions. Topics are chosen via relevancy and interests of the members, which are then discussed by the Editorial Board in order to reach a general consensus concerning the topic or issue.

Feedback policy

If you have a grievance concerning the content or argument of the Editorial Board, please contact either Opinion Editor Peyton Hamel (peyton.hamel@iowastatedaily.com) or the Editorial Board as a whole (editorialboard@iowastatedaily.com). Those wanting to respond to editorials can also submit a letter to the editor through the Iowa State Daily website or by emailing the letter to Opinion Editor Peyton Hamel (peyton.hamel@iowastatedaily.com) or Editor-in-Chief Sage Smith (sage.smith@iowastatedaily.com).

Column Policy

Columns are hyper-specific to opinion and are written by only columnists employed by the Iowa State Daily. Columnists are unique because they have a specific writing day and only publish on those writing days. Each column undergoes a thorough editing process ensuring the integrity of the writer, and their claim is maintained while remaining research-based and respectful. Columns may be submitted from community members. These are labelled as “Guest Columns.” These contain similar research-based content and need to be at least 400 words in length. The following requirements should be met: first and last name, email and relation or position to Iowa State. Emails must be tied to the submitted guest column or it will not be accepted or published. Pseudonyms are prohibited and the writer will be banned from submissions.

Read our full Opinion Policies here. Updated on 10/7/2020

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.