Realistic resolutions and sticking to them in 2018


Written By Sara Cronin

After packing away ornaments into small, plastic boxes and stuffing my oversized, fake Christmas tree into three different orange plastic tubs, I began to realize that I had nothing new to look forward to. The end of the holidays usually brings sadness as the chaos winds down and the excitement dies off.  

Without worrying about what exact present to get your best friend or which flower printed mug will be the “perfect” gift for your mom, what else is there to worry about? Everything has slowed down, stores are slower, the ice rinks are now closing up and the light displays are being taken down…what next?

With the end of the holidays comes the new year, and with the new year comes hints of optimism. On New Year’s Eve, we can’t help but find ourselves evaluating the past year, and whether or not the past year lived up to our expectations. The next thing to look forward to is the upcoming year, and we begin to try to figure out how we want the next year to look for ourselves, claiming, “This is my year!” or the classic “New year, new me!”

Resolutions are often made, but they are usually dropped within the first month. But if you’re like me, and you actually want to make 2018 a year where you impress yourself, setting realistic goals or resolutions for yourself is key. The most important part in finding a resolution that you want to make and keep is finding out what it is that you want to change most about yourself this year.

Solutions are usually dropped so easily because they aren’t realistic for yourself. If you claim you want to get in shape for your resolution, but only work out at the gym an hour a week, most likely you will become unmotivated and preoccupied with other things, like your schoolwork or that tempting cheesy pizza. You’ll get distracted, discouraged and the resolution will fall through by February.

However, setting goals for yourself that are easy and rewarding not only for yourself, but others as well, will have a much greater impact than initially expected. You will shock yourself with the impact and motivation to continue to pursue your newly found motivation and goal of improving this year.

Two key resolutions that are easy to follow and realistic, but will also drastically improve your year are these: be kind and have confidence. Simple, yes, but both practical and worthwhile.

While you can set standard goals for yourself like exercising or eating healthy for your resolution, paying attention and holding yourself accountable for how you interact with people on a day-to-day basis will have a huge impact on yourself. I promise that by being kind to someone, whether a friend, stranger, mom or teacher, will have such a great impact on your life. I cannot stress how important the little acts of kindness are to the people around you.

This year, go out of your way to be kind. Write handwritten notes, whether it be a thank you card, a birthday card or a “just because” card. Something that is physical and handwritten shows that you’ve gone out of your way to make someone’s day, and that person will have something physical for safe keeping, allowing them to open up or re-read – even on a bad day.

Another tip of advice: invite people to go out to lunch with you this year. It doesn’t have to be people that you know; get to know someone new. There is nothing like that refreshing feeling after connecting with someone – you’d be surprised by how an invitation to lunch with someone you may not know well could turn into a genuine friendship.

Finally, have confidence in yourself this year. In other words, don’t second guess yourself. I know for myself I didn’t have much confidence in 2017, and I think a lot of times society and toxic outsiders can influence major choices that we make for ourselves and it can affect our self-esteem.

In 2018, having confidence in yourself means that you aren’t afraid of who you are, so apply yourself. Do you want to be an artist? Paint every day.

Do you want to learn about a new culture? Book that flight ticket and explore the world. Don’t let fear of failure interfere with the choices you make day to day.

You can truly make this year your actual year and become that new person if you pursue what makes you happy. Your confidence will flourish. Confidence and kindness will only branch off into positivity, and with positivity comes positive people.

Setting resolutions to be kind and confident will open up doors and possibilities you didn’t even know were possible. Explore, write, discover and pursue this year, and make a resolution you won’t be afraid to maintain, but instead a resolution that challenges and excites you.