Stay grounded for better resolutions

By Krystyna Serhijchuk, Columnist

Last year felt like one of the longest years in a while. But at the same time, 2016 was gone in a flash. Regardless, I’m looking forward to whatever 2017 brings, and you should too.

This is a time where many of us are probably scoffing at our friends’ proposed New Year’s resolutions. Not even letting their high hopes for the new year down gently, we instead remind them that everybody’s resolutions inevitably fail.

While you maybe shouldn’t shoot for the moon when scribbling down a list of goals for the year, you should still definitely make some New Year’s resolutions as we return to school for this second semester.

It’s important to keep yourself grounded while creating your list of goals. First, you should know the bad news: Only 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals, according to University of Scranton research.

At first, this sounds like a pretty deterring statistic. However, the failure to achieve New Year’s resolutions usually stems from either setting unrealistic goals or setting far too many of them. Another fault stems from setting large goals that you haven’t already been making small changes to achieve.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Instead, try looking back on your past year and the small steps you’ve already taken toward achieving some greater goals. This may help you conceptualize a list of new steps you can take toward achieving your goals in 2017.

2016 was the first year I really put thought into writing down a concise list of goals I wanted to achieve during the year. I’ve found that setting a larger number of resolutions is actually superior to setting only a few goals. Making a longer list of goals including incremental lifestyle changes will give you a greater chance of creating real change in your life.

I achieved many of my 2016 resolutions with this method. Simply making a list of smaller goals like this is helpful, even if you only reach a couple of your goals by the end of the year. Once the next year rolls around, you’ll have your list of previous resolutions to help guide your next list. Thus, you can begin a cycle of self-improvement.

While I was writing my list of resolutions for 2017, I had my last list from 2016 ready to read and reflect on. I easily transferred any unattained goals, which I had already made some small steps toward achieving, onto my new one. School will undoubtedly make it hard to complete every resolution on your list, so carrying some over will help relieve stress.

Self-reflection and self-betterment require constant work. Setting New Year’s resolutions helps you focus in on what matters and what you want to change. Change can be daunting, but breaking down large goals into smaller, attainable ones eases the process and reduces chance for failure.

The start of a new year, when we feel energized and inspired, is the perfect time to think up and write down your goals. Just remember to keep yourself grounded in reality during the process.

Krystyna is a junior in English.

[email protected]