New resolutions for a new year

There are some strategies you can employ to make accomplishing your New Years resolutions easier.

Tiffany Trawick

ItâÄôs crazy to believe that itâÄôs already time for fall semester finals. And after fall semester finals comes Christmas break and of course New YearâÄôs.
In America, it is a common tradition  to come up with âÄúNew YearâÄôs Resolutions,âÄù a personal list of things in our lives that weâÄôd like to change in order to better ourselves in the coming year. These lists commonly consist of things such as bad habits that weâÄôd like to quit, or goals that weâÄôd like to reach.
In the past, it has been a habit of mine to make a list of resolutions at the beginning of January and easily forget them by the end of February, completely defeating the purpose of setting goals in the first place.
Now that I am in college, however, I feel that making a list of resolutions can be very beneficial to my personal progression. However, that is true if and only if I honestly commit myself to the goals that I set.
The conventional wisdom is that it takes 30 days to break a bad habit. Though this may not be 100 percent true, the one thing we must consider is the difficulty that we do encounter when we as humans decide to change habitual behaviors.
It has been proven that habits are hard for us to break due to the fact that that we execute these habits with virtually no effort or thought. Our brains become accustomed to repeated behavior. Therefore, we must take extra steps in order to help ourselves accomplish our goals and break our habits rather than simply coming up with a list.
One attempt that may help us get closer to achieving our greater goals is setting more short-term goals. For example, a large, long-term goal may be to get straight AâÄôs this coming semester. Short-term goals that could take the place of this may include going to class daily or setting certain times for yourself during which you will commit to studying.
Aspirations such as these are easier to attain, and will inevitably push you closer to achieving your larger goal. Setting small, concrete goals are like the building blocks to a larger overall goal. It is helpful to not only just think of these but to write them down somewhere that you will see them every day to remind yourself of them; for example, in a calendar or planner.
Another thing we can do is create alternatives to our bad habits. A lot of smokers, for instance, may switch to chewing gum, or smoking vapor cigarettes instead of smoking standard cigarettes and wean themselves off of nicotine. In the same way, we can sometimes replace something like binge drinking and partying with more responsible, healthier choices like going to dinner with friends or going to the movies.
Sticking with tradition, it all starts with creating a list, and I encourage everyone to do this. However, this year, letâÄôs take our resolutions seriously; improvement is always good. Remember to make your resolutions attainable, but also remember it is never bad to challenge yourself.
Lastly, know that  New Years isnâÄôt the only time for us to make resolutions and make goals to better ourselves. This, like setting short-term goals, should be a part of our daily lives.
So this year, letâÄôs remember the importance of self-improvement and truly dedicate ourselves to these accomplishments, not just on Jan. 1, 2012, but every single day from now on.