How to actually achieve your New Year’s resolutions


Whether you declare a New Year’s resolution or not, you likely have a few things in mind you hope to improve on or achieve this year.

On The Collegian’s Twitter, we ran a poll asking what New Year’s resolutions people were setting. Most respondents chose eating healthier/exercising, followed by better mental health, trying something new and better grades/organization. 

Here are ways you can achieve these resolutions in 2017.

Healthy eating and exercise

Many people resolve to hit a target weight, drop 10 or 20 pounds, or trim two inches off their waist—but where do you start? And then what?

Take a different approach than the classic 1,200 calorie diet. Instead of cutting calories, dieting and running yourself ragged in the gym, make adjustments to your lifestyle.

For example, strive to eat out less. Only allow yourself to get fast food once or twice a month, or maybe once every paycheck if you are also trying to save money. Challenge yourself to cook something new every Sunday for dinner so you can learn to prepare healthier, homemade meals. The key is making a lifestyle change, allowing yourself to reach your goal and continue to maintain a healthier way of life.

As for exercise, there are a thousand obstacles in fitness, but the biggest is your mind. Whether you’re shy or nervous about working out, or you’ve been set back by injuries or failure, you have to be the one to decide not to quit.

Start by finding a workout partner. Take fitness classes at the Wellness Center. The first week of each semester is the perfect time to find out what you like because classes are all free.

Determine your goals and seek ways to achieve them. Find help and inspiration online and explore the services at the Wellness Center. Or, check out a local gym for some guidance. Everyone has to start somewhere, so find what you like and you’ll enjoy working toward your goals.

Grades and organization

We all want to do well in school; that’s why we are here. There’s really no way to do better in school than to commit yourself to it. Study often and over time rather than cramming in one night. Write your paper over time, and revise over time—not in the last few hours before the dropbox closes.

Talk to your professors—they are there to teach you, so let them. Do not be afraid to go to your professor’s office hours. Keep in touch with your advisor not just when you need to register for classes. Take notes in class—don’t just be there for attendance, be there for your education.

To stay organized, keep a planner. If a weekly planner isn’t your style, find out what is; just do what works best for you. Keep everything in your notes or calendar on your phone or a notebook. Always have a monthly calendar on your wall—one that you can write on for meetings and deadlines.

Trying something new

This is an exciting resolution with endless possibilities. Take up a new hobby or travel, whether it’s the next state over or another country—just go somewhere.

Checking out a campus event is an easy way to experience something new—you never know what it could lead to. Better yet, go to a meeting for a student organization that interests you. Stop and look at the bulletin boards in the Union and the walls in Rotunda. You’re guaranteed to find something that piques your interest.

Mental health

School, work, money, relationships, family, friends and community involvement are our greatest joys and stressors. Whatever you are facing, remember to put yourself and your own health first. You can’t control life’s events, but you can control how you respond.

If you are struggling academically, know that it is OK, and seek help—talk to your advisor or find a tutor, find a study group or see your professor.

If you need emotional or mental support, do not be ashamed to call counseling services. If you’re not ready for that, start with a 24-hour text or call hotline. Talk to whoever you are comfortable with.

If you just need to unwind from your busy life, don’t be afraid to say no once in a while, you can’t do it all. Take a night for yourself to do what you want. Put together a puzzle, go for a walk or drive, bake, craft, swim, shop—whatever makes you happy, take time to do it. Refresh and recharge so you can conquer the next day without burning out.


Make 2017 about you and your aspirations. As you work complete your resolutions, remember that despite your best efforts, you will likely fail a few times—and thats OK.

Committing to something doesn’t mean you will do it perfectly from then on. Allow yourself time to learn and grow. As long as you stay determined and focus on what you want, the rest will fall into place; just keep working.