In One Year, Out the Other

A guide for long lasting goals in 2020.

Hafsa Ibrahim, Writer

With the new decade beginning, it is common to set goals for the New Year. The most common resolutions, according to Forbes, are to lose weight, to eat more healthily and to exercise more frequently. Unfortunately, the phrase “New Year, New Me” is not always true. Statistically, a whopping 80% of people fail to achieve their New Year’s Resolutions, most losing their motivation by mid-February. This means that most people only stay committed to their intentions for a month and a half. 

“It seems like a lot of people make resolutions but never end up accomplishing them, especially the ones who set fitness-related ones,” Sam Spatt (10) said. 

 Despite the disappointing statistics, there are some who truly set and reach their New Year’s goals. So, if you have set a goal for yourself for the new decade and are on your way to accomplish it, congratulations.

“I have attempted to accomplish my goals and I’ve been doing pretty well with keeping up with them,” Leena Hussain (11) noted. “I want to work on managing my stress, taking time to find new hobbies, and to stay motivated during the school year.” 

However, the vast majority of people who do not reach their desired results fail to recognize what it is that they did wrong, and do not reflect on a better way to see their goal through. Not planning, integrating the behavior into their lives, having enough support to accomplish the specified goal or tracking progress bit by bit sets people up for unavoidable failure. 

According to James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, it takes two to eight months to establish a new habit. Many people cannot follow through because they don’t take an approach that is realistic. If you were asked to pick which resolution is more sensible – to lose 100 pounds, or to eliminate unhealthy foods such as sugar from the diet, you would most likely say that limited one’s sugar consumption is a much more attainable and reasonable strategy to being healthier. 

Another important step to setting and maintaining a target goal is to plan it well. Going back to the example with changing diet habits, you will need to consider the steps you are going to take in order to ensure a lasting adjustment can be made. Figuring out what works for you personally and applying it to a structured and specific route of action is the way to go. 

Life consists primarily of learned habits. If your New Year’s resolution was to get rid of a bad habit, then replacing the not-so-good habit with a better one is necessary. Another helpful tool to being successful with your goals is to consciously avoid things that trigger relapse. Small alterations in behavior will prove beneficial in the long run. 

“It’s about focusing on it. If you aren’t focused on accomplished your resolution, then you won’t end up following through. It’s just that simple,” Max Keeser (10) said. 

It is extremely important when making changes to one’s life to have a stable support system. Other than paid coaches, trainers, and assistants, often the best helpers come from close friends and family who are willing to put in the effort to keep you accountable and to help you fulfill your goals. 

“I think some people do achieve their goals if they try hard enough to get where they want to be. If you don’t try, then you won’t get anywhere,” Olivia Adams (9) said. 

By following these simple steps, you can drastically change the course of your own life for the better. Push through and see it to the end, you won’t regret it.