New Year, New Goals

Ariana Patalinghog, Staff Writer

A new year means a fresh start and with that everyone is sharing and starting to work on their new year’s resolutions. ‘Resolution,’ however, may not be the right word to use when describing your goal for the year. Perhaps replacing ‘resolution’ with ‘lifestyle’ would allow those with new goals to start actually working towards them in the long term.

Starting the year off right is the only way to go. To do this, getting rid of the need for instant gratification is a must. This is exactly why the term ‘resolution’ is already a mistake when it comes to setting and achieving long-term goals. A resolution often means labeling your goal and restricting you to a one-year or less time limit, while in reality your goal could take years or even decades to achieve. 

I was one of many that struggled with keeping a goal in sight after just a few months into the new year. It’s because of the mindset that I kept about new year’s ‘resolutions’: that they were temporary. For example, a goal I’ve had at the beginning of every new year was to get in shape or eat healthier. Starting for the first month was easy enough, but I wasn’t getting the results I wanted right away. As a result, it shied me away from working on my goal to maintain and eventually, I was convinced nothing I did was working. That’s when I officially failed myself and to achieve my goal for those years.

Pushing through to achieve a temporary goal is easy enough, in the beginning that is. Over time, your ‘temporary’ goal isn’t fulfilled by the time your temporary motivation runs out. This causes a lot of frustration and leads to other blocked goals throughout the year, leaving many feeling helpless.

“Keep the big picture in mind–[motivate] yourself for everyday tasks based on your

longer-term vision,” according to Tracy Brower, an editor at Forbes Magazine.

The only right way to prevent frustrations from your new goals in 2022 is to change your mindset and switch ‘resolutions’ with ‘lifestyle’. Ask yourself if your goals are maintainable and are setting you up for success in a healthy lifestyle. If an overall balanced life isn’t one of the main focuses of your new year goals, maybe you need to start adjusting your focus. 

Brower explains that stress can hinder individuals from performing behaviors that meet their expectations towards their goals. Eliminating or minimizing partaking in stress sources provides the best environment for you to take your journey. Expecting to see results right away is one of the number one causes of additional stress when keeping resolutions. “When you de-stress, you can manage your behavior better,” said Brower. This couldn’t be more true especially when setting expectations for yourself and your goals; there should always be a healthy balance between both.

I felt so helpless and a pressure towards myself to get in shape. I started to exercise everyday and restrict my eating habits due to that stress. What I failed to realize was that real noticeable results in anything takes dedication and consistency first and the prize comes second. That extra stress only caused more of an urgency to reach my goal instead of enjoying the journey. Although I am continuing to work on my fitness and health till this day, this time I’m seeing results after almost a year of a changed lifestyle-focused mindset. I found a balance to staying fit and eating healthy over the past year that fits my lifestyle. It took a long time but I gradually started to lose weight and meet my goals and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon.

Everyone has their own lifestyles and goals for 2022 which is why personalizing new year’s resolutions to your specific lifestyle is the potential to actually achieve them. Some of you might want to read more this year. Others want to be more disciplined about cleaning their room or expanding their friends network. No matter what 2022 brings, I wish you luck with your new goals and working to make a lifestyle that fits truly to you.