New Year, New Me? Setting Realistic Resolutions for 2023

by: Aine Latoja || Photo Credit: Andrea Atkinson/The Daily Nebraskan

A lot of times, we pressure ourselves to automatically change into someone new the minute the clock strikes midnight. As we jump to the sound of torotots and sparkling fireworks, we whisper small promises to become a better version of ourselves this new year. But the premise of becoming anew right away is something we know all too well. After all, bad habits do die hard. 

The month of January brings in all kinds of things. As the calendar turns a new page, everyone anticipates a fresh start. With that, we create new year’s resolutions –  a means to improve ourselves from the versions that we were in the past year. It may be the case, but the first step in doing all this is learning how to make realistic new year’s resolutions. 

Finding Purpose 

Finding your purpose is the most vital aspect of creating a realistic resolution. Many people find it hard to stick to their goals and continue pursuing their dreams, short-term and long-term, without that something that keeps the fire burning within them. It can be anything or anyone, in all shapes and forms; finding something that truly keeps you going — be it friends, a new hobby, or even a TV show — makes working towards your goals worthwhile.

Take It Slow 

Another reason why these resolutions get dropped mid-year is that we expect to be consistently good at something right away. We would immediately deduce that this new “thing” isn’t meant for us just because it didn’t work out as we expected it to be. By taking slow steps and creating easy-to-accomplish goals, our resolutions are more likely to have longevity. Think of it as stairs, slowly climbing up, step after step. 

Working From Within 

Most importantly, no matter how corny it sounds, the only way we can resolve these resolutions is to work on ourselves first. Build self-confidence, try new things, and have an open mindset. These are just some of the ways you can practice. But this doesn’t mean that self-improvement has to involve objective-oriented activities. Sometimes, the tiniest acts of self-care are just as much as self-care than things like trying a new diet to improve your lifestyle or fixing a sleep schedule. 

But if you genuinely desire change in your life, you must be willing to make it happen at any time, regardless of what date or month it is. Believing that you can only start fresh at the beginning of the new year only adds to the notion that achieving these goals is just to prove something to someone and not to yourself. 

However, I believe we put too many expectations into changing for the new year that we tend to forget what we already have and the progress we’ve made in the past, how far we’ve come, and how we’ve grown as a person. Letting go of toxic habits and leaving things that no longer serve us behind are small feats in themselves, and we should pat ourselves on the back for that. 

As scholars, we stress ourselves way too much; maybe it’s just how we are. Let this be a reminder to set goals for prioritizing mental health, maintaining a healthier lifestyle, and discovering more about ourselves this year. It would be a great start to 2023 to have an open mind and take it slow despite the strenuous academic workload. 

As we go forth with the new year knowing how to set attainable resolutions, may this year be one that we can truly remember.

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