Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions this Semester

Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions this Semester

Category : PROspective

Welcome back to Rollins for the new year and new semester! We hope you have had some time to relax and take a step back from schoolwork for a few weeks. As the new year begins, you have probably set out on many new personal, professional, and academic aspirations and resolutions for yourselves. Self-improvement is always good, but can be very challenging. Here are some tips on creating healthy long-term change this semester that you can follow through on.

  1. Understand the behavior you want to change and why you stick to your old habits. If you are trying to stop procrastinating this semester, think personally about why it is that you do this. Is it because you work well under a time limit? Could it be because you forget about major tasks until someone else reminds you? Is it because you are a perfectionist and won’t start on a task that you don’t believe you will be able to do perfectly? Is it because you have a poorly planned personal schedule and have little free time to get ahead of your work? All of these problems have different roots, and will need to be addressed by different solutions. These solutions could include getting a planner, working with a study group, having an accountability partner, or countless other actions, but you need to do some self-reflection first to determine which one will work for you.
  2. Set ambitious goals and break the down into small steps. You might be averse to setting big goals that seem unrealistic to you. Many people discourage these big dreams because they think that they have to accomplish them all at once. Start by making small progress toward your goal, and you will often be able to reach it after creating these habits over time. Here is some advice from Harvard Health: 
    1. “Just getting to first base can build your confidence to tackle — and succeed at — more difficult tasks. Don’t disdain easy choices. If you start every plan with ‘Make list,’ you’re guaranteed to check one box off quickly. That’s no joke: a study on loyalty programs that aim to motivate consumers found giving people two free punches on a frequent-buyer card encouraged repeat business. So break hard jobs down into smaller line items, and enjoy breezing through the easy tasks first.”
  3. Keep track of your progress. Keep a journal or a whiteboard and record all your progress toward the goals you set this semester! Creating this visual aid will keep you on track and make it harder to forget about your goals or disregard them after just a few days or weeks. 
  4. Reward yourself. Don’t wait until you have accomplished some big task to let yourself feel accomplished. Your goal behaviors are incremental, and you should celebrate every step you make toward positive change. This will keep you motivated, excited, and proud of yourself. 

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