The freshness of a new year is in the air, and with it come endless possibilities for 2013.
Exercising more, eating right, studying harder and staying focused often become center-stage resolutions as the New Year unfolds.
Why then do so many resolutions fail? The issue is not the resolve of those trying to improve their lives but the qualifications of the resolutions themselves.
A good resolution should be simple, realistic, specific and measurable, and rewarded.
Life’s complicated, so a successful resolution shouldn’t be. A simple goal is easy to remember and reinforce. The whirlwind college life environment requires a flexible resolution students can stick with, making the simplicity of your resolution paramount.
A realistic resolution is an attainable resolution. High goals for the New Year are admirable, but a realistic goal has a higher mortality rate in the long run. Set your sights on achievable solutions, and success will be yours.
Specific and Measurable
Successful resolutions are equal parts simple and specific. Having broad goals like “losing weight” or “studying more” are well-intended ideas destined for failure. Specific goals, like losing five pounds before break or adding three hours of studying to Saturday afternoons, create benchmarks students can use to measure progress.
The best part of a measureable goal is the reward following its completion. Psychologists say positive reinforcement, or rewarding yourself for good behavior, is a key element in making certain actions into habits. By allowing yourself a bad meal after eating healthy all week or sleeping in because you were so productive the day before, students can psychologically “trick” themselves into making resolutions habits and habits a change in lifestyle.