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The Orion

Set meaningful goals for the New Year

valerie teegardin.jpg
Valerie Teegardin

It’s fair to say that you have the best intentions when making a New Year’s resolution; you resolve to eat better, workout at the gym more.

It’s a nice idea to think about and you can fantasize about becoming a “whole new you” all you want, but you’re in denial if you honestly think that your shiny, brand-new resolution will have any kind of lasting effect.

In order to make a lifestyle change, you need to stop thinking of what you should change and instead think of what you want to change. When you make a goal that you don’t necessarily have a desire to achieve, sheer willpower will not be enough and you won’t find the motivation to stick with it.

Not all things that shine are gold, something you experience firsthand when you find yourself crawling back to your old habits before the end of the month. Urban Dictionary even has a name for this devastating blow: New Year’s Fallout. A dangerous period of time within 1-2 weeks after the new year in which people try to go through with their New Year’s resolution. Often met with minimal success.

Your brief love affair with self-reinvention will fizzle out like cheap champagne and one morning you’ll wake up to find that the tantalizing idea of transformation has left you for good.

So what do you do? You tip back a bottle of pity and drown yourself in excuses, which is why you seriously need a resolution intervention before you self-destruct. It’s time to stop this merry-go-round of empty promises and unrealistic expectations once and for all.

ILLUSTRATION by Rachel Dugo
ILLUSTRATION by Rachel Dugo

Take my own experiences, for example. I was just like you once, naive enough to believe that each New Year’s resolution would be different from the last and work out in the long run. However, after years of ignorance and failures, I finally came to face the cold hard truth that resolutions resolve absolutely nothing.

The first step is admitting you have a problem, so stop denying that you end up wallowing in despair on the couch, with a half-eaten carton of Ben & Jerry’s, after failing to commit to your resolutions.

Pull yourself together. This time around, tackle your commitment issues head-on and ring in the New Year with meaningful goals by asking yourself the following:

1. If you were guaranteed not to fail, what would you aim for?

2. What do you regret not doing this past year?

Don’t wait till New Year’s to contemplate these questions. There are 365 days in a year so why not start today? Limiting your self-improvement to a single day of the year limits your life successes as well. Strive to look for minor things you want to change in your everyday life.

With your answers in mind and eye on the prize, dump your useless resolutions and vow to make 2014 a year worth toasting to.

Valerie Teegardin can be reached at [email protected] or @vteegardin on Twitter.


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