Crafts, apps, and mindsets you can use to stay on track
Trying to stick to your New Year’s resolutions is like trying to do math: extremely difficult and a little boring (apologies to all you wonderful people in STEM, but it’s just not for me). Many people fall into a slump after the holidays, almost like a Christmas hangover, and the last thing they feel like doing is work. Ironically, this period is also supposed to be when we start working towards the goals we set for the New Year.
It’s probably for this reason that a reported 25 per cent of people give up their New Year’s resolution within the first week. There are a lot of different statistics on this topic, and many of them are discouraging. Those who aren’t weeded out in January typically give up in mid-February.
As for myself, I was making great progress on my goals leading up to Christmas break. I was going to the gym consistently, eating healthy, and taking good care of my mental health. However, as soon as classes ended and I was back home, all of my progress went out the window.
According to my research, I’m not alone. I put out a survey to my 611 Instagram followers, and only 20 responded (my 20 real friends, including my sister, dad, and cousin). Twenty-five per cent of these people said that they’ve been lazing about over winter break. A further 35 per cent said that they’re in the planning stage. A majority of respondents also claimed that they’ve had resolutions before but have never fully accomplished them.
It’s not that we don’t know how to achieve our goals. There are an infinite number of resources to help us available at our fingertips. We don’t lack knowledge, we lack motivation, drive, and grit. We want instant gratification and easy dopamine, rather than long, drawn-out results. In order to counter this plight, here are some tips to help you buckle down this January and actually prioritize your goals.
Make a vision board
A vision board is a tool that can help you visualize your goals. Come up with very specific objectives, like “get my first pull-up” or “make three friends” that can be easily identified when achieved. Search for pictures that match exactly what you imagine achieving your goal will look like and arrange them into a collage using a printer or an app like Phonto or Canva. It can be digital or physical, but make sure you put it somewhere where it will be easily noticed, like on your desktop or near your front door.
Be cognizant of how you spend your time
To achieve your goals, you should put much of your free time into them. You already know the steps you need to take, but everyday distractions are holding you back. A tool that you can use to hold yourself accountable is a habit tracking app. They can help you see the progress you’ve made towards achieving your goals. Try I Am Sober if you’re trying to quit something, or Habit Tracker if you want visuals that show how many days you’ve met your goals and checklists to keep you consistent. If you’re a physical-over-digital kind of person, print out a habit tracking template that you can colour it in yourself.
Act like you’ve already done it
If your resolution will be putting you into a new environment, like a club, gym, or friend group, don’t feel like a poser. You’re a beginner! You just need to act like everyone who is already comfortable in this environment until you are as well. And don’t just walk the walk, talk the talk! If you want to run every day, start identifying as someone who does. Tell people you run every day (if it comes up — just don’t brag about it), and you’ll feel more of a drive to do it.
Let’s not be a part of the laughably poor statistics surrounding the holiday of fresh starts. Try to stay consistent for at least the whole year. That way, when you look back and see all the improvements you’ve made in 2024, you’ll feel compelled to follow your resolutions going forward. This year, I’ll take my own advice, and hopefully it’ll work, since I’m telling you to do it too.