Musings of a Beaverton Teen: How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

By Emery Hanel (12th Grade)emery-hanel

What’s up, Beaverton teens? Say goodbye to 2016 and say hello to 2017, which also means saying hello to a New Year’s Resolution.

According to Statistic Brain, only 8% of Americans succeed in keeping their New Year’s Resolution. Do you know if you’re a member of this statistic? It’s okay if you aren’t, because the odds are that you started off strong. Three out of every four people who made a New Year’s Resolution maintained their resolution the first week of the New Year. Sadly, that isn’t the case by the time the first six months roll around. By then, only 23 individuals out of every 50 manage to keep their resolution– less than half. Here’s some tips so that you don’t end up in that 92% of Americans that fail to keep their New Year’s

Resolution:

Keep it simple, but specific. Don’t set more resolutions than you can handle– Psychology Today confirms that one resolution is enough. As for the resolution you have, be explicit in what you want. Avoid vague resolutions like “lose weight” or “get organized”, make them more definite by clarifying the amount of weight you want to lose and the time frame you want to lose it in and spell out in exactly what manner you want to be more organized and how you’re going to achieve it.

Take baby steps. One of the main reasons people fail to keep their resolution is because it’s just too daunting to begin with and they get discouraged if they don’t succeed right away. Anticipate the challenge, but don’t shy away from it. Just take it slow.

Hold yourself accountable. If you can’t trust yourself to keep your resolution, having someone to keep you in check can help you out. By making your resolution a responsibility, you increase your chances of being able to maintain it throughout the rest of the year.

Treat yo’ self. Reward the little successes you have– don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to award yourself. Besides, motivation is critical to maintaining your resolution, and what better way to encourage yourself than promise yourself a prize after demonstrating some effort?

Be sensible. Don’t push yourself so much that your resolution starts to detriment your life rather than augment it. Don’t beat yourself up when you slip up, because it’s bound to happen. The key is to pick up right where you left off instead of telling yourself you’ve already failed.

Be present. As Psychology Today suggests, ask yourself, “What’s the one thing you can do today, right now, towards your goal?” Live in the moment instead of dwelling in the past or fretting over the future. Be aware of the people that make you happy and take time to thank them.

Emery Hanel is a senior at Jesuit High School who enjoys reading, writing, and playing lacrosse.