So it’s already more than halfway through February and you’re already thinking about midterms, Reading Week, and have enough going on that you’ve nearly forgotten about your New Year’s resolutions. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been studying over-time for my behaviour modification course, but the science doesn’t lie – there are always unconscious behaviours controlling our habits. We want to do what makes us happy and makes us feel good, but we don’t always have the means to escape our ingrained behaviours. So how do you get back on the resolution bandwagon?
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
“Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, ‘I’ll try again tomorrow.”— Thomas S. Monson
The feeling of guilt after not doing what you set out for will end up making you avoid those goals altogether, just to escape the guilty conscience that follows. Set little (i.e. manageable) goals the night before or the morning of. You can’t always predict how you’ll feel the next day, especially if you didn’t get enough sleep or something important came up, so leave room for life to get in the way or just to take care of yourself.
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”— Nelson Mandela
They say success comes to those who fail with unwavering enthusiasm. This goes back to point #1 in not associating negative emotions to your goals. The more excited you are to complete your goals, the more likely you will continue.
Know exactly why you wanted to change, or set a new goal.
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will”— Karim Seddiki
The more you can identify with your aspirations, the more likely you will follow through with the steps necessary to attain them. Write these reasons down and keep them somewhere you see at least daily - not to feel bad when you don’t follow through, but to be inspired by your own reasons.
Obsess over your goals.
“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your soul. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”— Franz Kafka
Pinterest is successful for a reason, and we all know our laptop windows stray from our word documents at least a few times during class, so accumulate websites or quotes or information on that will inspire and remind you to achieve your specific goals. This can be applied to pretty much any goal since the internet has space for pretty much every interest under the sun, so finding inspirational quotes, etc. online should be doable.
Ignore all of the above.
“I find that when we really love and accept and approve of ourselves exactly as we are, then everything in life works.”— Louise Hay
Ignore all of the above if you find yourself uninspired by the thoughts of changing any aspect of your life. It is absolutely possible to be content with your version of what’s healthy, successful, or just downright happy. If you someday feel the need to alter a behaviour, that’s okay too – things can change. Just be sure to trust yourself to know what you do and do not need to be happy. In the end the only goal we should have in mind is to be happy, whatever that means to you.
Paige is a fourth year BA student with a double major in French and Spanish. She is passionate about anything cultural (especially cuisine) and loves to travel anywhere new. Her hobbies include feeling guilty for taking naps but doing it anyways, watching old French films, and running long distance.