5 Tips to Stay True to New Year’s Resolutions


Ryan Chen

It’s finally 2022. Typically, the New Year is a time for celebration, but with the resurgence of COVID, this time of year may also bring mixed feelings. Regardless, the New Year calls for self-reflection: a time to look back on the previous year’s successes and failures, and possibly consider a new set of resolutions that will invite both improvement and change. 

But many of us have become all too familiar with the recurring guilt of unfulfilled resolutions. Whether we become unmotivated or overwhelmed, we eventually lose focus and allow our goals to fade into the future: “There’s always next year,” we tell ourselves. But even if you’ve already fallen off-track, you don’t have to wait until next year to achieve your goals. This year, you will pick up that dusty dumbbell again; you will stop averaging seven hours of screen time each day; you will read the chapters of To Kill a Mockingbirdon the day they’re assigned. And even though we are currently living through a very challenging time, making that big adjustment is certainly still achievable. Here are just a few tips to help you get started.

1. Narrow It Down

You’ve decided that in 2022, you will finally stop procrastinating. In fact, you’ve already made progress by deciding this resolution on December 30, way before the deadline. But come Sunday evening, as you stare down a math problem set, a chem lab, and a few chapters of A Tale of Two Cities, you decide to reward yourself for setting a resolution early by watching a little YouTube first. Three hours later, you’re watching the latest episode of Euphoria with your friends, and only the heading on your paper has been completed. So what went wrong? A likely answer is that “stop procrastinating” is too large and abstract of a goal. Many factors play into procrastination, and condensing it into just one resolution leaves us struggling with which one to tackle first. First, try to identify the cause of procrastination. Is it boredom with the task? Feeling overwhelmed by where to start? Fear of failure? Once you identify the problem, create a specific action that can help you work on it. If the problem is that you always seek out your phone when you’re bored, make the resolution to put your phone in another room while you’re working. If the problem is feeling overwhelmed, make a goal to develop a time management system. By narrowing down the goal and associating it with an action, our larger goals become much more achievable. 

2. Use An App

One common mistake that we may make in pursuing our resolutions is limiting the scope of the ways in which we approach them. With the abundance of technological resources available today, such as apps, accomplishing specific tasks has become much more manageable. Again, if you’re trying to minimize procrastination this year, perhaps you could try apps that help to keep you on track and manage your responsibilities effectively. If you’re struggling to keep your phone outside of arms’ reach, you might as well use that weakness to your advantage, right? One app that you might find helpful in this area would be myHomework Student Planner, which allows you to keep a tab on each of your deadlines in an organized manner and receive reminders based on how close the deadlines are. 

3. Do It With Others

You don’t always have to fulfill your resolution by yourself. If a family or friend has the same resolution or interest as you, stick with each other along the process; having someone alongside you as you work towards something makes the process much more bearable. If you’re struggling to find someone with a common resolution or interest, you could also consider joining a school club. Let’s say that your resolution is to be happier. But today, you received an undesirable grade on your physics test, your crush just rejected you, and most of all, you just got deferred from your dream school. You’ve had a rough day. But when you go to Heartbreak Emergency, you find that people are having similar experiences as you and that makes you feel one step closer to happiness knowing that you’re not alone. Our school offers a variety of clubs, so finding a group of people that share your resolution or interest in some way shouldn’t be too hard. 

4. Write It Down

This one may be emphasized too much, but it’s for a good reason. Writing a resolution down is probably one of the most crucial steps in working towards it. If your goal is to hit the treadmill more often, writing a reminder on a post-it and sticking it to your mirror provides a visual cue. You could even put a smiley face or a star beside the goal each time you accomplish it. For goals you want to accomplish during school hours, you can turn the written goal into your home screen wallpaper or write it on the cover of your writer’s notebook.  

5. Just Begin Again

As the clock strikes twelve on December 31, you decide, “This year, I’m going to focus on my health.” For the first couple of days, all is well: your mom has started driving you to Planet Fitness every Saturday, you’ve finally started putting those vomit-inducing greens on your plate, and that seemingly permanent butt imprint on your couch has vanished. But, oh no! The end of the second quarter has arrived and with it has come those fifty exams your teachers are trying to squeeze in. As you spend countless hours day after day trying to cram for each test, you eventually lose the healthy habits you started creating. And after exam week, you’re totally fried and ultimately decide to let go of your goal. That’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make: abandoning your resolution too easily. Many resolutions are challenging but valuable: this is why we created them in the first place. So if you find yourself struggling to cross the first hurdle, just remember that it wasn’t meant to be easy. You don’t have to be perfect. Just begin again.  

Regardless of whether or not you successfully implement these tips to make that big change, just remember that any time of the year is a window of improvement, not just the New Year. If you’re truly passionate about your goal, any time is a good time to start. Make that change now.