New Year’s resolutions: To keep or not to keep?

Allison Cavazos runs on the treadmill during the “Cross Tread” class taught by Mercedes Owens at Tread Fitness in Dallas. (Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News/TNS) HFA WEB NO MAGAZINE SALES MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES; INTERNET USE BY TNS CONTRIBUTORS ONLY

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New year, new me.

That tiresome statement will be the caption on countless friends’ photos as you scroll through your Instagram feed the first few weeks of January.

According to Statisticbrain.com, 44 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions, and only 9.2 percent of people felt like they achieved their set New Year’s resolution. I know I have fallen victim to this “new year, new me” attitude that seduces so many Americans.

I made a goal to lose 10 pounds last year, and through countless hours of sweaty, red-faced, awkward working out, I reached my goal before summer. However, as soon as school was out and my closest gym became 30 minutes away, I gained it all back. Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

After summer ended, I opted for an attitude change. I figured if I want progress, then I might as well get started with my goals as soon as possible. The new year does seem like a great time to make self-improvements, but Jan. 1 doesn’t reset your life, and consistency is the real key in pursuing your goals. My consistent goal setting has helped me keep my grades up and get more involved in the areas of life where I was lacking motivation, and I’m going to use this new year to continue thriving where I need to but not completely reset. If you’re ready to self-improve and make resolutions you will actually stick to, then here is some advice on how to keep your goals in sight.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Instead of setting a New Year’s resolution, set bite-sized goals that can work up to a larger one you have in mind, and don’t wait until January to start. 

My goal since November has been to read one book every month. I have been breaking this down into reading every day and logging my progress. This makes it so I’m not overwhelmed with the workload ahead of me every month. And for those of us who may be questionable in the consistency department, these smaller goals help hold us accountable just before we “forget” about our goals and make things more manageable. 

Don’t keep your goals a secret

A journey always seems easier with people by your side. Whether you tell just your closest friend or post on social media, talking about your goals can help hold you accountable and provide you with necessary support. Write them down, post about them, talk to someone and be consistent. For my goal, I have been setting apart time every night to read. When I do this, I tell my friends I will text them back in 30 minutes or so, and I put my phone on do not disturb. 

Since I’ve started this, my friends often ask me questions about my books or ask when I will be reading. This not only serves as a reminder, but it also makes me excited for some “me” time every day.

Don’t forget to treat yo’self

Not every day is perfect, but you definitely deserve rewards for your progress. Every time I finish a book, I have a new excuse to buy a new one. This motivates me to reach my goal every month so I can splurge a little. Don’t completely let go and ruin your goal, but remind yourself that some leniency is necessary for happiness sometimes. What’s a good workout without the sugary snacks that can now follow without guilt? 

New year, same you. Unless you set some goals you can stick to.