New Years Resolutions: 3 Steps for Success in College

Last Updated on December 19, 2016

New Years resolutions hand written in marker on color sticky notes, and arranged on a bulletin board in a college dorm room.

Your New Years resolutions are things you make at the start of the year. They are things you promise to do, a pact you make with yourself. Everyone has one or more, but very few can actually make it to the end of the year without breaking the promise. Here are some tips to make sure you stick to yours.

Take Your New Years Resolutions Seriously

If you create your resolutions just because everyone else is doing so, you may end up blowing off your self-promise before the first month is over. This isn't too bad, though, because you think everyone messes up and reverts back to the usual habits eventually.

Don't let this chance slip by. The New Year is your opportunity to make things right, to improve your habits and make your life better. Therefore, resolve to change one aspect of your life that really needs renovating.

Break Down Your New Years Resolutions Into Several Mini-Goals

Fulfilling your New Years resolutions is the main goal, but you can reach it in a few simple and doable steps. Allow one week or two per mini-goal so that you will be able to reach your goal before the month ends. Depending on the nature of the problem you want solved, you can extend the deadline for each mini-goal to a month or two, i.e. when you need professional help in the form of therapy.

A concrete example is stopping a nasty habit like drinking excessively and partying too much. These are bad habits that comprise of a few smaller bad habits such as partying all weekend, staying up late and blowing off your homework. You can start achieving your resolution not to drink and party too much by doing something else over the weekend, implementing a curfew and obsessing over school work.

Seek Support From Your Friends

Common New Years resolutions include doing something to make life better, and this means sacrificing more than you intended. It's difficult to be a newbie quitter when you're always in the presence of active smokers. It's almost impossible to avoid going to drinking parties when all your friends continue to bombard you with invitations. The idea that you have to sacrifice your friendships in order to fulfill your New Year goals is what makes the whole thing difficult.

If the people around you are the main obstacles to your success, you don't have to avoid them. But you do have to tell them about your resolution and hope that they will be supportive. Real friends will still like you and hang out with you even when you don't join them anymore. Other individuals have successfully gone cold turkey (in the case of an addiction), but only with excellent support from people that care.

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