Ashley Walderman, ‘Doah Contributing Writer
January 29, 2014
As January comes to a close, many New Year’s resolutions have started to waver and fade. Workout schedules become shorter, your organized desk or backpack starts to get cluttered and perhaps your savings account is looking a little sparse. John C. Norcross, PhD., a psychology professor at Scranton University and the author of “Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions,” has said that by mid- January he predicts 50 percent of people who set New Year’s resolutions or goals would break at least one of them. It is important during these times to stick to your guns and don’t allow yourself to falter. If you believe it, you can achieve it. Here are some tips on how to fight the urges combatting common New Year’s resolutions slip:
Be realistic about your ambitions by first writing down your goals– both long and short term. Understand that change comes gradually and that this isn’t just a New Year’s resolution, you could accomplish this at anytime of the year, but why not now? Remember that it is okay to start small and work your way up to bigger challenges. Norcross suggests using the SMART acronym: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-specific when writing or planning out your goals. Pace yourself and remember to challenge yourself by choosing how much you want to stretch your comfort zones and how much growth you are striving for.
Track and review your progress by keeping a journal or motivational blog. Oftentimes this can be the more difficult part in the process because we forget our notebooks, don’t have a pen or just forget to write it down later. However, this is a crucial step in helping you achieve your goals. Muslima Musaawir is an avid quote collector and says her quotes act as a “very therapeutic” reflection of emotions or experiences that she has felt or is going through. She also stated that the quotes “are daily reminders to stay optimistic and loyal to my dreams.” The logging of progress is a constant reminder of your hard work and efforts. Norcross highly suggests making your “diary” public by posting it to social media outlets so that you are making yourself accountable to those who may be following your growth with you. This does put you at risk of potentially embarrassing or disappointing yourself in public but this can be the best kind of motivation. Physically writing down your accomplishments acts as a visual reminder to not give up, push harder and to be proud of how far you’ve come!
Another great little way to feel good is to leave yourself Post-it notes for encouragement. A smile a day takes the stress away. Especially if you hide it in your planner or textbook on a random page and surprise yourself with it. And don’t forget to resist late night Wal-Mart and Sheetz runs or Jimmy John’s orders. Instead, try a late night swipe at Jazzman’s in Brandt Student Center during the week for some refreshing hot tea or coffee and salads or sandwiches.
Most importantly, celebrate your accomplishments and stay positive!