Rapada: Make attainable resolutions for New Year

Manuel Rapada, Assistant City Editor

After we prove the 2012 conspiracy theorists wrong and share some good times and food with our family and friends, let the countdown to 2013 begin.

Say whatever you want about the “New Year,” sappy metaphors included, but plenty of people take time to reflect on the past year, think about what could have been and set a resolution for the new year.

For 18 to 29 year olds, the usual resolutions top the 2013 list: fitness, finances and health. Becoming more educated and losing weight round out the top five, according to a survey from a company conducted by a retailer of FranklinCovey time management products such as planners.

After failing miserably, yet again, in 2011 to stay fit, I established a health-related resolution for 2012: drop soda cold turkey. Aside from eating jelly beans that turned out to be 7UP flavored, I’m in the home stretch of my resolution with flying colors.

While I wait for my endorsement deal from Minute Maid Light Lemonade, here are my tips to make that resolution last longer than a day or two.

Walk the fine line between realistic and challenging.

Sure, you want to save money or lose weight, but never accomplish a goal at the expense of your personal well-being. Ask family, friends and professionals such as a doctor to see if your goal is realistic. Although you know yourself best, remember that resolutions should be something you look forward to tackling and accomplishing.

Think of your resolution as a goal with key stages.

A good resolution should incorporate several milestones to keep you engaged throughout the year. Ran a mile for the first time in under nine minutes? Great! Work on your endurance and try to run two miles in under 18 minutes, or try to cut another 10-15 seconds from your mile run. Thinking of your resolution in terms of stages will ensure it becomes a goal you pursue year-round.

Celebrate milestones with a reward.

It takes time and effort to reach a certain goal. Take a cheat day: Grab your favorite guilty pleasure food or splurge on something from Whole Foods after saving so much from shopping at CVS. Just make sure your cheat day doesn’t turn into a cheat week.

Get your friends involved.

Most of those in the FranklinCovey survey said they found sharing their goal with friends was the most helpful way to pursue that goal. Your friends know if that habit is one you can realistically break and will “slap your hand” when you go for those hand-cut fries at Plex. Be sure to thank them, too, for taking time to support you and your resolution. 

Accept that you will probably fail. 

Just like Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin on New Year’s Eve, resolutions can turn into train wrecks mere days into the year. However, if you miss an exercise day at SPAC or drink one too many venti soy mocha whatevers at Norbucks, know that there’s still hope for your resolution! How you respond to any misstep is so important.

Don’t brush off the error as an example of weakness but as a sign of the past you are trying so hard not to repeat. Whenever you feel frustrated, seek comfort in friends, family and other supporters on campus. Also, search for “You are more beautiful than Cinderella” on YouTube. Ellie Kemper wants you to succeed, too. Happy holidays, and happy resolution setting!