By Emily Withers
With (not so dry) January coming to a close and February looming over us, it’s easy to forget that less than a month ago, we sprung into the new year convinced that we would achieve our ambitious resolutions and become new people in 2019. For most of us, those high hopes were crushed a few days into the month, when we realised that we are the same flawed individuals that we were in December. Here are some ways that you can set realistic resolutions to stick to in February.
Firstly, make any new goals realistic. This may mean starting small, and splitting your new goal into segments. If you want to save money, start with saving a small amount each week. If you want to start looking after your nutrition, start by eating your 5-a-day and drinking more water. Small steps towards your new resolution will help you realise that you can succeed in the changes you want to make and that your goals are realistic.
Another important part of sticking to your resolutions is to reduce the pressure you put on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, and you will break your resolutions from time to time. This is only a problem if you let these minor slip-ups affect you. It doesn’t matter if you eat one takeaway and break your diet. It doesn’t matter if you neglect your reading for one week. By allowing yourself to make small mistakes without punishing yourself, you will be motivated to get back on track going forward.
A really effective way to stay motivated is to track your progress. This can be done in a multitude of ways- choose what you feel comfortable with. Maybe you could make a wall chart or poster to track how many days you have stuck to your resolution, or you could list all of your university work for the month and tick it off as you complete it. Whichever method you choose to use, make sure that your tracking is visible and rewarding. This will ensure that you have a visual reminder of your progress daily, and that you feel a sense of accomplishment which will help keep you motivated.
But what should my resolution be? To decide the best goal for you to work towards in the new semester, ask yourself what is important to you, and which areas of your life you would like to improve. If you are a big spender, maybe you can make your own lunch each day instead of spending money on a meal deal. If you often turn up to seminars unprepared, you could make your goal to complete the essential reading for each session. If you spend your evenings watching Netflix in your room, resolve to spend one night a week with your flatmates. Whichever aspect of your life you choose to work on, make your resolution something which you truly believe will be achievable, and which will have a positive impact on you.
So, grab a pen and paper and get planning your 2019 (realistic) resolutions.