New Year Resolutions

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Although I’m not a big fan of New Year Resolutions, like many people I’m guilty of having the mindset: it’s a new year, a clean slate to right all the wrongs that occurred in 2012. In the past, despite my original hardcore motivation (think waking up to “Eye of the Tiger” every day), I was never able to keep my resolutions.

Why? Why was a simple goal like “be able to run 10k” impossible to achieve within 12 months? I believe the year is too long. A year gives you too much wiggle room and not enough accountability. Many others suggest breaking goals down into manageable pieces, and it’s true. It allows you to shorten the time that you allow yourself to achieve your goals.

In fact, it’s also the “clean slate” mentality that often causes failure of these resolutions. Like other people, I’m guilty of going all out or not going at all. A “clean slate” doesn’t offer you much redemption from the occasional slips. And from there, I usually start spiraling down into bad behavior, thinking “well, if I already messed things up, I can’t make it any worse. Might as well make the most of my binge today and eat that whole cake too! I’ll start again tomorrow.” Rinse and repeat with the shampoo of unachieved dreams.

Another factor of the unrealized resolution, at least for me, is allowing days and weeks to blur together without really thinking and living them. As a college student, I constantly find myself straddling two extreme desires: one for the pain and suffering that takes the form of homework and exams to pass quickly, the other that wants me to enjoy my college years and make the most out of them through social and academic accomplishments. These two desires are on very different timelines. On one hand, I wish to be able to numb the pain and survive the semester. On the other hand, I don’t want it to be over, knowing each step takes me towards a future of difficult decisions, that each semester I finish without a major life accomplishment adds another semi-wasted 4 months of my life.

Sometimes I realize that academic breaks, though a few months into the semester, sneak up on me. I find that I ask myself what I truly accomplished that semester, because I believe that students should be able to juggle their schoolwork and start building their future lives. Some other times, I’m frustrated with the way the weeks seem to CRAWL by, yearning for the spring break where I don’t have any deadlines breathing down my neck. It’s during these times that I let the days slip by. That I forget to keep my other goals accountable.

So this year, I vowed to try something different. I vowed that this year, I will finally accomplish what I set out to do. And I need your help to do it. In return, I promise to keep you updated on what actually works regarding New Year Resolutions and how to make them feel less of a challenge.

Here are my goals and how I break them down:

Lose 30 pounds:

  • Monthly: I will lose 2-4 pounds
  • Weekly: I will workout 4-5 times a week
  • Daily: I will eat under 1400 calories

See, by breaking it down into daily values, you have a daily goal. That’s all you focus on. As long as you accomplish that one goal every day, losing weight will be inevitable (hopefully).

Save $5000

  • Daily: Don’t eat out, don’t buy anything
  • Monthly: Maybe just once/twice
  • Get multiple jobs in the summer (on top of finishing courses)

This is kind of a hard one, because I always struggle with this. So I figured the best way is just to spend money on living expenses. That’s it. The closer I get to graduation, the sooner I’ll have to face my student loans so why not start now?

Be Able to Run a 10k:

  • Monthly: increase mileage by 1 mile
  • Daily: Run/workout every day

I used to be a runner; used to be able to call myself a runner. Now I can barely crank out 2 miles without feeling like I’m going to die. But that’s going to change. I’m not going to fall behind this time.

Let’s see how this goes. I’ll keep you updated!

What’s your opinion on New Year Resolutions? Have you ever accomplished any (if so please teach me the dark magic)? What are a few of yours for this year?

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