Set goals every day, not just Jan. 1

January 30, 2015 Editorials Print Print
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It’s officially been 30 days since Jan. 1, which means it’s been 30 days since many folks made New Year’s Resolutions. At this point, those people are either still going strong or have stopped somewhere during the second week of January. Congratulations to both groups.

Many Americans made some goal about losing weight, saving more money, or becoming more organized. Those are the top three resolutions according to the Huffington Post, along with the other top seven: enjoying life to the fullest, staying fit and healthy, learning something exciting, quitting smoking, helping others achieve their dreams, falling in love and spending more time with family.

However, it’s highly unlikely anyone will see a New Year’s Resolution through to 2016. I’m not being a Negative Nancy; this is just the cold, harsh reality.

According to www.statisticbrain.com, around 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions, but only about 8 percent actually achieve them.

These statistics are not surprising.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a New Year’s Resolution and haven’t made it past Jan. 5. In fact, I don’t even think I’ve ever completed one.

So, this year I decided I wasn’t going to make a New Year’s Resolution. I made a conscious effort to treat this year like nothing had changed, which seems to be a foreign concept to everyone.

The New Year is appealing because most people view it as an opportunity to start over. In some ways, I suppose that’s true, but chances are, you’re still working at your same job, going to your same school and talking to your same friends. The New Year is simply a day to celebrate a number, not to act like you have a whole new life.

Why do we think New Year’s Day is the perfect time for self-improvement? Why not start on Jan. 30 or April 24 or June 7?

Setting goals every day is important — not just one day each year.

While I didn’t make an actual New Year’s Resolution, I realize I’m not perfect and I did think I have room for improvement in various areas of my life.

I didn’t start on Jan. 1, and I still haven’t started some of my goals, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not about the time it takes to achieve something, it’s about the end result.

Oftentimes, we jump into multiple resolutions blindly and don’t set daily, weekly, or even monthly plans to help us make a change. We just expect things to change because we desire change. But change takes time, commitment and dedication.

Good Housekeeping gave five tips that can help you keep your resolution, but these apply for any goal or life-change you wish to see: set realistic goals, create a plan for success, monitor your progress, jump “back on the horse” immediately and reward yourself.

If you’re one of those who let their resolution go already, try again, because there’s still hope. Your New Year’s Resolution doesn’t have to start and end with each year. Set a goal now, next month, or even this summer. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t complete it by Jan. 1, 2016. Aim to make yourself better each and every day. It’s never too late to make a change.

To contact Lauren Daniel, email onlineeditor@occc.edu

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