On Following Through with Your New Year’s Resolutions

Every New Year’s Eve I make the exact same list of resolutions – study more, work out more and manage my money better.

Sadly, every year, I find myself breaking all of those promises. Not because I didn’t want to change those habits, but I simply did not have a plan on how to achieve these goals. Instead of actually sticking to my resolutions and making changes, my resolutions were just a list on a piece of paper that did not amount to anything.

Saying what you’re going to do is way easier than actually doing it, but what I have learned from failed attempts of self-improvement is that you can make alterations in your life if you set yourself up with a plan.

I am excited to say that I have followed through with my resolutions for a little over a month, which is more to say than past years when I typically give up within the first week. Even though I am still learning how to stick to my own resolutions, I figured I could share my plan because it seems to be working so far.

First thing you should know is that I am a huge procrastinator and by that I mean lazy. For instance, last semester I had a professor who assigned four-page essays along with book readings – pretty untaxing. This professor wanted to try something different, by NOT assigning deadlines for the essays, they just had to be turned in by the end of the semester. Now, writing an essay once a week would’ve been the most logical thing to do. But mind you, professional procrastinator here. I waited until the very last week to do a semester’s worth of writing.

Nevertheless to say, I spent finals week typing out 14 different reading responses, which roughly ended being around 67 pages. I believe that it’s safe to say that I have mastered the skill of procrastination quite well.

First Resolution: Study More

Last semester, I did not study until I absolutely had to, usually before a test or exam. That usually led to cramming everything in a few nights. In order to avoid making up excuses for not studying or getting homework turned in on time, I have decided to create a weekly schedule for myself. This schedule contains reading assignments, homework and upcoming tests or quizzes.

Creating a schedule once a week is more realistic than trying to do one for the entire semester. This helps me stay organized, and if anything comes up, I am able to adjust my schedule.

Along with a weekly schedule, I no longer study or do assignments at home. Why? Because it never gets done. There are inumerable instances when I was suppose to be studying at home, but decided to catch up on the latest episode of Scandal.

By only doing assignments in the library, I’m limiting the amount of distractions for myself.

Studying at the library means: “Get this homework done, so I can go home.”

Second Resolution: Work Out More

By far, the most difficult goal on my list is exercising. Working out doesn’t only entail going to gym, but also making better eating and drinking choices. Without managing your food and what’s going into your body, working out is a waste of time.

The key factor in becoming a more active person is to work out early in the morning. Make going to the gym a priority and the very first thing you do before starting your day.

After discovering this tip, I have found myself energized and less tired throughout the day. On top of that, I don’t have to worry about trying to squeeze in a workout later on in the day.

Third Resolution: Manage Money

This habit wasn’t as hard to shake as the others on my list once I started to take note of the stuff that I was wasting my money on. I have now become my own financial advisor – creating a budget of what to spend and what to save and knowing how much money I am making versus how much I am spending.

Try to write down everything that you purchase for a week, how much it costs and why. Trust me, you will be surprised at how quickly the “cheap” things add up to a big bill.

I have also conditioned myself to just say no.

No to going out with my friends, no to shopping and no to one of my all time favorites – Taco Bell.

This doesn’t mean I never spend, I just refuse to continue to make ridiculous purchases that I do not absoultuely need.

Although I have not been completely perfect with sticking to my resolutions, I have noticed the strides that I have taken to better myself.

I will continue this journey as these are no longer goals of mine, but a lifestyle.