Make Your 2011 Resolutions Count

Posted on: December 30, 2010

It’s that time of year again – as festive celebrations bring one year to a close, some of us begin to reflect on how the next twelve months can be better than the last. The holiday indulgences betray many with a voice in their consciousness that dares them to change habits or simply what they see in the mirror. If you’re like most, then you’ve probably experienced this sudden burst of motivation that comes in early January – but as worthy as they may be, New Year’s Resolutions are notoriously short lived.

Tradition dictates that every 365 days we should make commitments to improve our lifestyles, whether it be to get out of debt, quit smoking or just lose a few pounds. Research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved them. Perhaps many of us are setting ourselves unrealistic ambitions by not focusing on why we actually plan to achieve something, but instead succumb to being swept along by the annual ritual of New Years motivation, without planning ways to accomplish what we really want.

Other popular goals include exercising or dieting, becoming more organised and improving career or educational prospects – but what kind of resolution will you make yourself in 2011?

“I always have a New Year’s Resolution but I don’t think I have ever stuck to one. Last year I hoped to play the piano, I had a lesson once and learnt the Toy Story theme tune, does that count?” says Hanna Henshall, Media and Communications student.

“My New Year’s Resolution is to learn a new skill – I want to play the guitar” says James Burr, Sports Management student.

“Last year’s resolution was to be organised so that I’d get on okay with my course, but to be honest it’s made me a bit of an organised mess – so probably not the best of ideas to set myself another one” says Katie Elliott, Multi-media Journalism student.

“I never make any resolutions because I know I just won’t keep them” says Harriet Elsom, Media and Communications student. “I think they’re just a conscious thing to make people feel better.”

Experts say that the key to New Year’s resolution success is asking yourself why you want to achieve a goal – not so much how you’re going to do it. Research has warned that resolutions can in fact damage your health, as turning over a new leaf could be more harm than good. If such a small minority of us are sticking to our personal pledge, then the feelings of failure and low self esteem can kick in – so could we end up feeling worse about ourselves than when we first started?

Whatever your goal for this year is, if it’s saving money or hitting the gym – be realistic in what you set yourself and follow these 3 crucial steps:

Set up to succeed – Try to clarify the exact goal you are setting, for example instead of ‘I want to be less lazy’ aim for ‘I want to cut down on watching television’ or ‘I want to exercise an hour a day’. Break down large goals into smaller ones, create a to-do list or find the right people that will help you.

Stay on track – Be flexible and be able to adjust to unexpected times, instead of giving up all together. You must remember to reflect on how well you have done as you go and celebrate – even if you are just one step closer to your target, you are better off than when you began.

Do it for the right reasons – Most importantly, don’t aim for something just because you ought to do it, a resolution is a commitment to yourself. If you want to give something up, find alternatives – for example if you want to cut down spending on new clothes look at charity shops or eBay as options, or if you’re giving up smoking find other ways to relax.

‘This is the year’ we always say – and maybe 2011 will be your year to achieve something truly great that you can be proud of. Pressure can be beneficial, but don’t forget that too much planning can make you narrow minded. As long as we stay positive and work towards something better, then there’s little need to make a promise for the sake of tradition, right? My resolution is to write more for Nerve Magazine and be a better student – but who knows what this year will bring!


4 Responses to "Make Your 2011 Resolutions Count"

I am definitely sticking to my resolutions 110%! This IS the year, haha! I agree that anyone making resolutions needs to make sure they at least run them by someone else to make sure they are realistic goals and achievable.

This year I have a long list of goals but there are two types of goals on my list: the ones I have to achieve by mid-year and ones I have to achieve by the end of the year.

Plus, I’ve written them on a HUGE piece of paper and stuck it on an area in my room I know I will no doubt look at all the time. Yeah, I’m going a little Derren Brown on myself this year and hoping that by always looking and reading at my goals, I will subliminally do something each day that will bring me one step closer to achieving them. Wish me luck!

Wow you are organised – if you keep reminding yourself with your big list then I’m sure you’ll get there in the end. Good luck with them! Don’t try to outdo yourself too much though haha xx

ahhhh Elliott!!! loving the voting poll. I feel you would know my choice there.

loved the article though!!! xxx

This is good Ells!
I change my mind- My new years resolution is to continue to be an organised mess 🙂 its fun!

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