Home Features The art of completing New Year’s resolutions

The art of completing New Year’s resolutions

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Credits: Trinity Heard

As the clock ticks down to midnight on New Year’s Eve, Americans take time to bring in the new year by creating a fresh start, often making New Year’s resolutions. These goals are usually long-term with the target goal being to complete them by the end of the year.  However, throughout the year, we watch as those around us—and even ourselves—slowly slip out of these goals. More often than not, these resolutions are given up on or the person has failed and the goal doesn’t make it past January. Why does this happen, and how can we fix it? Taking a deeper look into the human brain and how it forms habits can help us find better ways to reach goals. 

How the brain forms habits

New Year’s resolutions usually involve habits, either to stop or pick up. In order to form a new habit, you must repeat it to the point where it becomes something regular for your body. Another part of the habit-forming process would be reinforcement and how rewarding the outcome is to you. According to Frank Graff, it takes 18-25 days to start a new habit. You have to be patient with yourself and continue to push toward your goals. It’s important to know that with forming new habits, you may fail at some points. The hardest but most important thing to remember is to not give up. Knowing the info behind forming a habit can help to start or end a habit. Just as good habits change your brain wiring, so do the bad ones. 

Common toxic goals versus realistic and achievable goals

One of the most important pieces in making goals is keeping them reasonable. Many people often make goals that are difficult to achieve or are built off of negative ideas. Using the S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely) acronym taught in Kinetic Wellness at Oswego High School, students can design their goals to be attainable. Take this goal for example: “I want to lose weight.” The S.M.A.R.T. goal’s version of this could be, “I want to lose 30 pounds by the end of December.” Creating goals in this format makes it easier to stick to them by allowing you to measure your progress as you go. 

Why we need to get better at making goals 

Although New Year’s resolutions need some work in developing, it’s important for humans to develop over time and advance. Getting better at creating and completing goals is helpful for both ourselves and the overall world. With New Year’s resolutions, we can begin the year by moving toward a better version of ourselves. Making better humans each year can only benefit us when our world could use better people around. These few tips should help to guide you to create achievable goals this new year.

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My name is Trinity Heard, I am a Senior at Oswego High School, and this is my second year writing for 42Fifty. I am very excited to continue working with the team and help other learn more about journalism. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, baking, and editing. I also am a part of the Student Council as President and work as a crew member at Culvers. I look forward to being involved in 42Fifty as a managing editor for this year.

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