New Year Resolutions: Maybe You Should Not Worry This Year!


It is this time of year when a Christmas tree in the corner of our living room or office glows with the buds of hope and aspirations for a new coming year. It is this time of year when our dreams start materializing in our heads, tempting us to see them materialize on the ground. It is also this time of year when Facebook posts and memes keep popping up in our faces, making fun of our “new year resolutions”! What resolutions when I have not achieved those of the past ten years at least? Believe me, you are not alone!

There are several reasons why people fail to stick to their list of “New Year Resolutions”. One reason is that such resolutions are sometimes framed in so realistic a way that they lack any degree of enjoyment. On the opposite end of the spectrum, another reason you may fail to achieve your New Year resolutions is that you are so dreamy that your resolutions are completely detached from reality. Some might also fail to achieve a New Year resolution because they set plans that are at odds with each other. According to psychologist Robert Emmons this only leads to complete frustration. Remember, being moderate is not a bad idea.

How about a few tips that might help with sticking to our New Year resolutions?

1. Enjoy what you are doing

Remember, only enjoyment predicts long-term persistence; this is what psychologists call “intrinsic motivation”. In other words, it is better to do something you love rather than because you are forced to do it. Whether you are writing a literary analysis essay or dissecting a frog, remember that you are contributing to the welfare of humanity, whether by discovering a new drug or by opening people’s eyes to a new aspect of literature that may touch something in their own lives. Tired of studying? Take a break, and meanwhile, keep dreaming about the new BMW you may buy when you work hard after graduating with a high GPA, then go back to writing your assignment or dissecting the unfortunate frog with zeal!

2. Be realistic

I am not urging you to stop dreaming; as Paulo Coelho says in his best-selling novel The Alchemist, “It is the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting”. However, do not set dreams that are completely detached from reality. Developing a literary interest? Great, but you are not winning the Nobel Prize for Literature next year. Keep writing, enjoy the beauty of letters, and do not forget to work hard because if you are not winning the Nobel Prize next year, this by no means entails that you are not winning it forever!

3. Avoid goals at odds with each other

This one is basically a matter of organization. You may spend time with your family and at the same time work on your promotion project. Spending only some of your time with your family does not make you an undutiful son/daughter. Save some time for your promotion project in order to celebrate your promotion soon in one of those lovely family gatherings!

4. Seek the right support

The influence of friends is undeniable. A good friend is one with whom you can spend some fun time, but a true friend is definitely not one that would take you to a fast-food restaurant one day after you decide to go on a diet and eat healthy food. Choosefriends who care for your plans as if they were theirs. Friendship is about sharing, remember? Not necessarily sharing food.

5. Do not be cruel to yourself

Being harsh on yourself may just backfire and spoil the whole plan. The “I screwed up” tone is only good for an “I suck at sticking to plans” conclusion, leading to completely ruining your whole set of resolutions. Learn also to give yourself a treat from time to time. You are done with writing your assignment in two days, instead of one day, before the deadline? You deserve a small treat. This small treat does not, however, have to be a stuffed-crust pizza. Do not allow one of your resolutions to ruin another.

6. Schedule some “me time”

Always give yourself a space to do things you like, and try to dig for new areas of enjoyment. Unleash the bookworm inside you, and learn the secret happiness of reading books and savoring each and every word. Find the writer inside you, and create your own blog as a platform for your feelings and ideas with which your friends, and probably others, will surely interact.

Learn to play music and swim in an endless sea of tunes and melodies. Run. Swim. Ride a bicycle. Walk and enjoy the early morning breeze on your face and the company of birds and colorful butterflies. Amidst all that, do not forget to leave some space for spiritualties and contemplation. Open your arms, and embrace your coming year with enthusiasm and hope.

Happy New Year smiley


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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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