Madi’s declassified survival guide: how to face the reality of New Year’s resolutions


A couple of weeks ago, the world turned 2019 year’s old which is often paired with the idea of New Year’s resolutions. Everyone usually makes one, even if they say they don’t, and most times, they’re all pretty generic – losing weight, exercising, becoming more organized, saving more money, etc.

Now, let’s face it, we often make some kind of resolution and then it ends up falling through. I know I’ve told myself at least five years in a row that I would start running around my neighborhood or working out in the gym that is literally in my basement but I keep with this goal for maybe a week or two, and then I give up. The thing is, I know that I’m not the only one that has done this.

Choosing to make a drastic change in your life, whether that be in your schedule or your habits, is challenging. It just ends up being disappointing, because we let ourselves down after making a promise. With this, I know so many people who have just stopped making resolutions because they know it’s never going to work out.

Instead of outlawing resolutions altogether, we need to figure out a way where we’re able to make realistic goals for ourselves. I hate running, so why am I trying to make a resolution for myself that revolves around running?

When figuring out what you want to do or what you want to change in your life, start small. Jumping right into some goal will only make you want to do it less and less. You’ve got to wane off of things, similarly to waning off of a bad habit. Starting small and working your way up to the overall goal will allow you to maintain your resolution longer and make it easier. You wouldn’t be able to instantly cut ice cream from your diet if you had it every night for dessert; start with cutting down to four days a week, then two, and so on.

If you have more than one resolution, don’t try to do them all at once. You’re going to get overwhelmed and defeated when you come to find that you can’t do everything at the same time. Change one behavior at a time. Unhealthy behaviors develop over time. Thus, replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones requires time.

Transformations are, ultimately, hard and don’t happen overnight. You shouldn’t expect to face them alone. Support and being open about what your resolutions are will allow you to get the encouragement you need to stick with it. Overall, the concept of New Year’s resolutions isn’t bad. It shows us that we want to become a better version of ourselves and that we want to make an effort to do just that, but we have to be able to recognize that sometimes things are harder than they sound. Don’t just give up when these things get hard, but reevaluate and readjust so you can finish what you started.