December’s final moments dragged on while we waited for 2017’s arrival. We set off our fireworks, held our significant others close for that midnight kiss and toasted to another year of memories past. Above all, many of us looked over our perfectly crafted list of New Year’s resolutions one last time.
As many as 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year, however, only 8 percent follow through with them, according to a study by the University of Scranton. The participants that were questioned listed goals involving self-improvement, relationships and education.
Between balancing school, work, internships and social lives, we tend to get wrapped up in stress and overlook our most important ambitions. A few University of Miami students kept this in mind while compiling their resolutions and offered tips for those looking to avoid flaking on their goals.
Writing’s on the wall
The first couple of months into the new year can be full of bliss and excitement. Amidst it all, we lose sight of what we originally wanted.
“Everyone likes to talk about [resolutions] at first but then probably forget about them,” said junior microbiology and immunology major Stephanie Scuotto. “If you write them down and continuously look at them, it’s motivation to keep on going.”
“Keep [your resolution] somewhere it’s always going to remind you, like your phone or laptop wallpaper. Somewhere right in front of your face, like in your room,” said freshman Neemi Patel on how to keep your goals in sight.
A friend indeed
“Have people around you keep you on track,” said freshman psychology major Theresa Birch. “Let them know [your goals] and ask for help.”
Year-round resolutions can also be difficult to follow if the people around us don’t inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves. Studying for exams and perfecting our spring-break bodies isn’t as hard when we have friends who share the same ambitions and values as us.
“My goal for 2017, besides being more positive, is being more patient relationship-wise because I feel like this year I’ve been more stressed out,” said sophomore Maria Luiza Lago. She credits her friend, junior English major Diannis Barban, with calming her down and teaching her to deal with stressful situations in different ways.
Last year, Barban hoped to build more relationships in 2016. She feels she has accomplished this, reflected by her friendship with Lago. She says her faith taught her to be able to see others as unique, the single word she listed as a resolution summarizing it all: “one.”
Barban stated keeping the simple word “one” in mind helped remind her not to generalize the people around her. The first step towards the new friendships she forms begin with acknowledging that everyone has their differences, but everyone also has something valuable to offer the world. In a divisive time, this was the most significant goal to her.
“It’s hard to deal with people, and it’s hard to build relationships. Sometimes you don’t know what to tell people. I know Maria has told me things and … I don’t know what to tell her. But it’s about seeing her as an individual, seeing her as a unique person … so that word summarized everything that I wanted,” Barban said.
Opening up to friends can provide you the valuable advice you need to keep following your goals. In addition, being there for friends who need support will allow you both to help each other grow into who you want to become.
No life in between
The third and most important step in sticking to New Year’s resolutions year-round is being true to yourself. Are your goals far-fetched? Are they something you genuinely want and will be able to change?
Once you’ve distinguished between fantasy and reality and short-term and long-term, commit to your resolutions and work at achieving them every day.
“Just really stick to your goal. Live by your goal,” said sophomore biochemistry major Austin Torres, who lost 70 pounds in a year.
Torres stuck to his resolution by dedicating time each day to going to the gym and eating healthier. He knew that nothing would change overnight. Instead, it took a long-term commitment.
“Make every day count towards the whole goal. If a day is not productive, then you’re just going against the goal,” Torres said.
“I’d like to be more honest with my life and straight forward … I went all philosophical [last year],” said freshman Kim Dodt.
Being honest with yourself will make the journey of reaching your goals a whole lot easier. You may have the best intentions with your ambitions, but you could be putting unnecessary pressure on yourself when you try to cram multiple years’ worth of goals into just 365 days.
“Why start at the beginning of the year when you could start anytime?” said freshman Stephen Hueniken, who doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions for that reason. He emphasized the importance of recognizing that you don’t necessarily need to start working toward your goals at the start of each new year. Rather, any time is the opportune time to start.
After all, the only thing between us and achieving our goals is ourselves. By keeping your resolutions in mind throughout the year, maintaining friendships with people who have similar ambitions and making sure your goals are achievable, you’re sure to be successful this year.