It’s February at last, and that means three things: (1) we’ve finally made it through January, (2) it’s Black History Month, and you’re already working on your submissions for New Dawn’s BHM issue, and (3) you might be lacking on your resolutions. Maybe you planned to have your summer body looking right by May, but you got distracted with work. Whatever the case may be, it’s not too late to either get started or re-do the resolutions you made at the end of 2019. These are just a few tips on how to make resolutions you can keep.
1. Make sure your goals are actually realistic. Maybe you thought you’d be willing to go to the gym six times a week and stop eating meat, but have found that those aren’t goals you’re actually prepared to keep up with. Think about your larger goals (like getting into shape or practicing more self-care), and write down smaller ways you can accomplish them. If you want to be more relaxed throughout your week, attempting to practice yoga for several hours more than you’re used will be difficult to maintain. Try upping your time by thirty minutes at first, and adding another thirty when you’re comfortable. Smaller goals will make it easier for you to keep up with your resolutions, and give you a sense of achievement when you meet them.
2. Find an accountability partner. This can be simple. Tell a friend or family member your plan, and ask them to check in on you every week or so. Knowing that you’ll have to report on your progress might be just the motivation you need to stay on track. Besides, if you find a friend on campus, you can participate together. Choose a time to both attend the same yoga class, or study together so that both of you can work on staying focused. Don't forget to offer to hold them accountable to their New Year’s resolutions too.
3. Be specific. Less “I’m going to work out this week” and more “I’m going to attend Zumba on Tuesday and Thursday this week.” On Sundays, I like to map out specific times for exercise and meditation throughout the week, and specify what exactly I want to do at those times. It’s a relief to not have to worry about forgetting or getting too busy because you’ve already prepared for your specific goal for the day.
4. Acknowledge that you will always be a work in progress. You don’t have to completely improve yourself in a month, or even a year. Learning to be better and do better is a process of lifelong growth, so don’t try to accomplish it all in 2020. I this is the year your health is really important to you, focus on that! Trying to make changes in every area of your life is an overwhelming undertaking. Think about your resolutions as being smaller steps towards eventual self-betterment, and not huge goals that have to revolutionize your entire life overnight.