Hope your new year is going well so far! We are officially one week into 2018, and if you are like 92% of Americans, you have already broken your New Year’s resolution. While it is certainly important to create a goal in order to achieve it, it can be defeating to have minor setbacks in succeeding in a major goal. Most people fail in keeping their New Year’s resolutions because they treat a marathon like a sprint, something that I have been guilty of many times. Fortunately, only one week has passed, and here is your chance to start over. It is time to set more enjoyable goals that will improve your physical and mental health and lead you closer to your ultimate goal without you even realizing it. Here are tips on how to make the most common (and most commonly broken) New Year’s resolutions more attainable.
The most common New Year’s resolution is to start exercising or to exercise more, but that can be very daunting at first. Gyms experience the highest spikes in membership right after New Year’s Day, but 80% of recent gym-goers quit their membership within 24 weeks. On the bright side, Rutgers has multiple on-campus gyms that do not require membership fees. If running on a treadmill is not your idea of a good time, there are multiple free classes you can join, including Zumba, Pilates, and freestyle hip-hop. After figuring out what you like doing, you will actually enjoy going to the gym. On days that you just cannot fit the gym into your schedule, it can be helpful to do a 5-minute plank routine in the comfort of your own dorm room. Making a specific goal, such as running 2 miles everyday or attending a hip-hop class twice a week, can make exercising more fun and attainable.
It is just as important to exercise your brain, and while we work our brains enough as we complete assignments and study for exams, it is hardly fun to read a textbook regardless of how much you enjoy the subject. It can be hard to find time to read a novel when juggling schoolwork, and it might not seem as appealing as binge watching a show on Netflix, but a good book can be motivating. If you want to start reading more this year, set aside a deadline for yourself. For example, you may want to finish one book every month, or you may want to start and finish a book you have been wanting to read for a while before the semester ends.
Learn a new skill:
We all have skills we have always wanted to pick up, and 2018 is the year to finally learn how to play the piano or tap dance! Mark Zuckerberg learns a new skill every year because he thinks hobbies are very important to finding success. Hobbies that are cheap and easy to pick up include bullet-journaling and cross-stitching. Neither require a lot of constant dedication, but can be relaxing for a few minutes every day and in the end, you get a finished product you can be proud of. Juggling is not only a great party trick, but it is essentially a form of active meditation and can improve hand-eye-coordination (something I could certainly improve on). There are also many clubs and intramural sports teams that are open to new members regardless of skill level.
I hope these ideas inspire you to enjoy the process of achieving your New Year’s Resolutions. Good luck!