Top four tips on making new year's resolutions

Sarah Rae


Happy new year students! I hope you all were able to take the time you needed to unwind and relax over the holidays, while spending quality time with your friends and family.

The new year is always a busy time for people, but more especially a busy time for students!

As a future university student, you'll come to learn that the new year is typically the time where the end of your school semester and final exams are approaching. It is also important during this time to take a moment and reflect on your past year. 

The holiday break is a great time to look back on all your successes and challenges of the previous year and to take the time to create new resolutions, or what I like to refer to them as, new goals, for the upcoming year!

While the idea of making new goals for the upcoming year can seem like a daunting task, fear not, here are some tips to help you develop and crush those goals you set out for yourself.


1. Plan ahead of time

In order to be successful and complete any kind of task, challenge, goal and so forth, planning is key! It is very important to designate time to think through your goals to ensure that they are well-thought out and planned in a way that will allow you to actually achieve them.

In other words, do not wait until New Year’s Eve to plan your goals! If you wait right up until the last moment possible, you will be in the mindset for that specific point in time.

Instead, try to have your goals planned before the end of December, and plan them over the course of a few days so that you are not acting on impulse or acting on your mood for that day.

It is also important to develop a goal, take time away from thinking about the goal, and then to go back and re read the goal to see if it still makes sense and you still find it relevant.

Person writing in a notebook


2. Use the S.M.A.R.T goal setting method 

I’m sure many of you may have heard of the S.M.A.R.T. method that can be used for goal setting in your health/gym classes but it is a very beneficial approach to goal setting so I will summarize it again!

When setting any kind of goal, whether that be for fitness, overall health, school, work, etc. I strongly recommend using the S.M.A.R.T format to guide you.

The S stands for specific, meaning to make sure that your goal is detailed and answers questions like who, what, when, where, which and why.

The M stands for measurable. Ensure that the goal you are setting can be measured so that you can track your progress and know when you have met that goal.

The A stands for achievable, meaning that your goal needs to be realistic and attainable. I would say this is one of the most important points.

The R stands for relevant, meaning that your goals should be inline with the bigger picture you are working towards.

Lastly, the T stands for time, meaning create a time line. A person may set as many goals as they want, but they need to have a deadline put in place to create positive stress that will motivate them to reach their goal.

close up of a face of a clock.


3. Share your goals with others 

Tell your close friends and family about your goals! This tip is obviously optional as sometimes our goals can be quite personal, but sharing them allows your friends and family members to support you and help you reach your goals.

If you share your goals with others, you might even find someone that wants to work towards the same goal, and then you can motivate each other in the process.

three people sharing their goals


4. Track your progress 

Report your progress! It can be extremely encouraging to keep track of all of your small successes. It is much easier and less intimidating to break down a goal into smaller milestones instead of just working towards a long-term goal.

Tracking your progress can be done in a variety of ways, including keep a food journal or using mobile applications (one of my favourite being the FitBit app for fitness and health!). 

Person writing a list of goals


5. Start fresh 

The last but most important tip for goal setting is to not beat yourself up over the occasional slip up and stick to it! Always remember that a goal/resolution does not need to be tied to the new year. A goal or resolution can be made at any time, whether that be your birthday, a weekend, a random day during the week, etc.

Anytime that you feel as if you have already failed your goal, try again! Do not feel as if you need to wait another year to try this goal again, it can be restarted at ANY point in time.

And finally, be kind to yourself! We tend to be the harshest on ourselves when it comes to failure, but remind yourself that you would not say the same things to someone else who is struggling.

Remember to always speak to yourself as you would to someone else working towards a goal, with positive, encouraging words! You can do it! 

Do you have any tips on making goals or new year’s resolutions? Or do you want to share any goals you have of your own? Feel free to mention them in the comments below!

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