Ask Cassandra: Reconsidering Resolutions

Cassandra Hagen, staff writer

Dear Cassandra,

I recently decided to start some new year’s resolutions, but I’m already finding myself giving them up pretty easily. Do you have any advice to keep me motivated to achieve my goals in the new year?


Reconsidering Resolutions

Dear Reconsidering Resolutions,

The start of the new year can bring a surge of motivation to improve yourself, and to capitalize on this uptick in motivation comes the new year’s resolution. Once the clock strikes twelve begins the multitude of promises many people make to themselves, such as ‘This year I’ll get a new job!’ or ‘I’ll try to make more friends for sure!’ However, many people experience the fickle flickering out of this motivation within a few weeks, or even a few days. While giving up on your resolution feels distressing and dismaying, this usually abates when you simply tell yourself, ‘Next year I’ll keep my resolution for sure.’ I’d like to contest this, however – with a few simple tricks this can be the year you meet your resolution. So how do you hold onto that motivation in order to make sure you keep your resolutions this year? Keep reading to find out!

Firstly, make sure your goal is realistic and achievable. The most common pitfalls of resolutions is making them too grandiose and ambitious, and it’s a primary reason why people find that their motivation to stick to their resolutions starts to wane. Oftentimes it’s because they’re making their goals too vague or unachievable. Instead of reaching for the stars, aim for the moon, and treat your resolution like any other goal – make it realistic, achievable within a time frame, and detailed. By making it something smaller you’re taking the first steps to set yourself up for success!

Break it down into steps. It can be difficult to feel like you’re making any progress towards achieving your resolution when it’s not defined into smaller, achievable steps. Say your resolution is to work out more – seems straightforward, but it can be hard to tackle without smaller milestones to mark your progress. You could separate it into smaller goals in order to not only feel like you’re making notable progress, but to also make you less likely to start losing motivation. 

Be okay with changing your resolution. If you find that your resolution isnt working out despite your unwavering determination and efforts, take a step back and let yourself reflect if this resolution is something you actually can, or want, to achieve. Changing your resolution a few months into the new year isn’t akin to giving up, but stands as a bit of a fresh start, because it’s more than okay if a goal or resolution isn’t working out for you. It just means you can either come back to it later and focus on a separate, more achievable goal, or you can discard it all together. It’s important to remember that achieving a goal doesn’t always follow a linear, easy path, and sometimes that means starting back at the beginning!

Make sure you make the resolution for yourself. It can be easy to follow the trend of what resolutions should be, like losing weight, making money, ect. However, your resolution doesn’t always have to be significant, life changing, or difficult to achieve – it just has to be for you, and be something you want to achieve. Keep yourself and what you want to achieve at the forefront of your mind when sticking to a resolution!

Following these steps can help you work towards achieving your new year’s resolution, and make it easier to approach them in the future. Keep in mind that your goals are for you, and that being unmotivated is perfectly normal and alright – motivation ebbs and flows, and it’s about still sticking to your resolutions even if you need to take a break from making progress with them. But overall, remind yourself –  you’ve got this!