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The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

How to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Make 2024 Your Best Year Ever
Tim Mossholder
New Year Resolutions. (Copyright-free under Unsplash License)

Many people see the New Year as a time of celebration, turning a new page to start another chapter of their lives. This creates an ideal setting for a new, fresh start to get rid of bad habits and create better ones–many of which are done through New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions vary for each person; some may set a goal desiring to exercise more at the gym, while others may want to improve their academic endeavors.

You may have heard of the phrase, “new year, new me” when people discuss their yearly hopes and goals. However, the harsh reality is that while many create these long, sophisticated New Year’s resolutions, most people do not stick with them by the end of the year. In other words, while many may seem mentally dedicated, they are not actively acting on their goals. 

To solve this common issue, it is crucial to both create an effective New Year’s resolution and to be able to stick to it. Here are four tips to sustain your New Year’s resolutions in order to make 2024 a year to improve and grow. 


  1. Be Specific 

This tip may sound generic or simple, but it is arguably the most important rule of thumb to keep in mind. Millions of people around the world set their goals to lose weight, get better grades, or get fitter, but these goals are not specific enough. Instead of creating a broad, ambiguous goal that lacks clarity, it is crucial to check that your goals are measurable and specific enough to keep track. For example, a New Year’s resolution that states, “lose 10 pounds in the first three months and exercise for 30 minutes every day” is a much more effective goal than “lose weight and get fitter.” As your goals become more specific, they will become much more feasible and easier to track progress.


  1. Start Small 

A resolution can become an issue once it becomes too large to handle. Despite the initial excitement to begin their goals, many realize that it may be “too hard” for them to achieve, ultimately resulting in failure. Thus, it is a solemn reminder to note that goal setting is like setting small stepping stones. Instead of attempting to climb one, steep mountain in a day, take small steps to eventually reach the summit. For example, instead of making your New Year’s resolution “work out every day at the gym for 3 hours a day,” start small by working out once a week, then twice a week, and so on. 


  1. Renew Your Motivation

Right after New Year’s Day, people will have lots of motivation and confidence to work toward their goals. However, this type of strong motivation often dwindles soon, as people start facing more challenges and roadblocks, leading to failure. At such moments, remind yourself why you started, where you started from, and the benefits achieving your goals will have. For example, when you start facing challenges, instead of looking at how much further you have left to go, first acknowledge how far you have already come and what you achieved. Finding any source of motivation, whether it’s external—such as rewarding yourself with a treat after sticking to a workout schedule for a week—or internal—such as renewing your sense of happiness and satisfaction—can help when times get difficult. 


  1. Reflect and Analyze

By March, most people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions. Reflecting and analyzing your goals at certain times can help avoid this. If you are not making any progress toward your goals, evaluate the reasons behind it instead of immediately giving up. Are you lacking motivation and consistency? Are you working hard enough? Or are your expectations too far-fetched? If your current approach and actions are not working, reevaluate them and develop a new plan. Flexibility is the key here. Being able to adapt and try different things (even if it means changing your resolution) will lead to success. Even if you have already encountered setbacks or restarted a bad habit, it doesn’t mean that you have failed. Changing your attitude and using them as learning experiences will help you out in the long run.

Overall, although creating a New Year’s resolution is a great thing to do, there are certain things to look out for. Every year, many people decide to start a change in their lives, but they either never make the changes or quit too early. When creating a New Year’s resolution, make it specific, break it down into smaller goals/steps that can be achieved, and consider getting a journal to observe and reflect on your progress. As a final tip, if you are constantly pondering about achieving your goals to the point that it causes anxiety, stop thinking and start doing! In the end, the only real way to achieve your New Year’s resolution is to… Just do it.

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About the Contributors
JaeHa (Justin) Kim
JaeHa (Justin) Kim, Senior Staff Writer
JaeHa (Justin) Kim ('26) is excited to be a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo. He enjoys covering unique stories that some people may not know about and hopes that his writing can provide new knowledge and awareness. In his free time, he enjoys running, listening to music, and spending time with his family.
Edward Wang
Edward Wang, Senior Staff Writer
Edward Wang (‘26) is thrilled to be a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo. He primarily enjoys writing about STEM-related topics and is fascinated by scientific discoveries and advancements. In his free time, he enjoys practicing the violin, coding, and playing tennis.