New Year’s Resolutions Series: a new start!

Posted on Posted in Student life

Let’s start again


After all those Christmas dinners and lunches, we are still in a sleepy mood and some of us may have not realized that…it’s already 2017!

The new year always marks a new beginning, we fill as if we are given the chance, at least for once a year, to re-start again, from zero…well, almost!

Anyways, whether you feel as reborn or not, it is always good to start the new year with some resolutions. It’s good for the mind, as well as for the body, to reset and try to plan what comes next.

“It feels good simply to assert that you will do new things or do things differently”,

says Jonathan M. Jackson, director of the Center for Psychological Services and Practicum Training at the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies.

The problem here is: how do we make new year’s resolutions stick?

New Years Resolutions: a challenge or a mind-set?

According to Forbes:

“Over 100 million Americans resolve to make a change in the new year, and most of them fail.”

Looking at it from the other side:

just 8% of us will be successful“, says Statistic Brain.

Well, the odds are against us, but this does not mean we cannot do it. Probably, it is not a problem of setting too difficult goals. The problem may lay in the way we think.

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Change your way of thinking

If you want to make your new year’s resolutions plan successful, try to think differently and follow these five tips.

  1. PHRASE YOUR RESOLUTION AS IF YOU’VE ALREADY ACHIEVED IT, says May McCarthy, author of The Path to Wealth.                                                                                         She also suggests to:”Describe the goal as already completed and use gratitude…If you’ve already met your goal, you might say, ‘I’m so grateful to be physically fit, in a trim, toned, healthy body.’ When you describe a goal with gratitude, you light up the front part of brain. Studies have shown that this part of the brain enhances focus and helps you notice more possibilities to succeed.”
  2. SET SMALL GOALS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, suggests Jonathan M. Jackson.             Instead of making long plans, that you surely will not follow, try to commit to modest, measurable improvements that might be achieved and maintained over time. For instance, instead of telling yourself to lose 20 kg in two months (which is not even healthy), start by telling yourself to go to the gym twice a week. That’s a start and when your body will be more fit, you’ll probably feel the need to practice more and you will also notice some difference on your body weight.
  3. REPEAT YOUR GOALS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR HABITS. Again, Mc Carthy says that “People struggle with goals because they don’t understand how the brain works…If your new goal is bigger or different than those you’ve made before, you have to create new beliefs and new neuropathways to get there”. The secret then is repeating yourself what you had planned to do. 
  4. REMIND YOURSELF WHY YOU WANT TO MAKE THE CHANGE. Identify an important reason why you are resolving to change something in your life, suggests Tim Bono, assistant dean and lecturer on psychological and brain science at Washington University in St. Louis. Studying is hard and spending your nights at the library or home to study is not the best. But you are doing this for a reason and only you know what that reason is. Stick with it, close your eyes and repeat it to yourself.
  5. FIND PEOPLE WHO CAN INSPIRE YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS. “When you see people being successful at your goal, it helps you think, ‘If they can do that, I can do that, too'”, says McCarthy. But also, I would add, don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice to people who have already gone through it. Maybe they can help you see how to achieve your goals from a different perspective or they may help you review them.


…Happy Start to the New Year from the SFN family!