Head of INSPIRE Hannah Chancellor (12) gives advice on following through with New Year's resolutions
By Wallis Rogin
Art by Michelle Jun
With the new year comes resolutions. And, for most, with those resolutions often comes the inevitable feeling of disappointment at a lack of follow-through. Most of the time, resolution-makers make the mistake of not making their resolutions specific to what is realistically in their physical or mental capacity.
When polled, 76% of St. Mary’s upper-school students did not consider “to stop procrastinating” a realistic resolution. However, when asked about a more specific goal like, “limiting time on devices until school work is finished,” 60% of students agreed that it was realistic. Creating a smaller and more specific goal to help achieve a bigger objective allows people to improve their lifestyle little by little.
Head of INSPIRE club, Hannah Chancellor (12) said, “You should look for a resolution that is achievable and make sure that it is something that you won't dread doing.”
By this, Hannah means that ”Reading 50 books in a year” is a great goal, but that means they now “have” to read around a book per week. For most students’ schedules, that is pretty unrealistic on top of homework as it is. Instead, it might be more beneficial to set a goal “To read every night before bed.” In doing this, people are practicing self-discipline while still allowing themselves to have a positive relationship with whatever it is they are practicing.
Thankfully, there are tricks to help in keeping New Year’s resolutions. A great way to stick with them is by tracking your progress. It’s hard to stay focused on goals if you can’t see your progress. Writing down your successes and challenges on a regular basis can help you stay focused on keeping your resolutions.
Chancellor said, “One thing that is helpful is setting a reminder on my phone to remind me during the year. I also keep yearly reminders on my whiteboard in my room just so I can see it before I go to bed.”
Resolutions shouldn’t be all about hard work and no fun, and that’s why it’s important to reward yourself for the achievements you make no matter how big or small. If you’ve stuck to your resolution of not eating sweets during the week, treat yourself by going out and eating your favorite dessert on the weekend. This will help you feel like your hard work isn’t pointless; instead, it provides tangible proof that your resolution plan is working well, and that you are gradually improving your lifestyle.
Finally, asking others to keep you responsible makes it more difficult to fall back into bad habits. Tell as many people as you feel comfortable with what your resolutions are and encourage them to check in with you for updates on your progress. Simply knowing that a friend might ask you about your resolutions will be enough to help you stick to the new goals you’ve set for yourself.
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