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Tips for keeping those New Year’s resolutions

Resolutions can serve as the perfect way to kick off a new year with optimism and a plan in mind, but before you jump into 2016 with a laundry list of goals, make sure you’re prepared to follow through with them.

According to a 2015 study from the University of Scranton, only 8 percent of people actually achieve their resolutions by the end of the year, so here’s a few ways to help you join the 8 percent and make resolutions you can keep.

1. Make your goals realistic.

If you know that you hate the outdoors and just hearing the words “gym class” makes you shudder, aiming to climb a mountain by the end of the year may not be the best goal for you. Instead, make resolutions related to activities you know you already have an interest in or are intrigued to try.

2. Create a plan.

Saying you’re going to get straight A’s for the rest of the year and actually earning them are two very different things. Sticking to your regular study methods probably won’t change anything, so figure out exactly what you’re going to change and how you’re going to change it – outlining your steps will help you stick to your goals and stay on track throughout the year.

3. Write them down.

Make a list of your resolutions and put it somewhere you know you’ll see it often (i.e. your desk, night stand or planner). Seeing the list will keep your goals fresh in your mind and might even motivate you to work on them. Decorating the list and making it pleasing to the eye can serve as extra inspiration.

4. Share your goals.

Telling other people about your resolutions and any progress you make – or struggles you may encounter – can help you stay on track to complete your plan. You may even want to use the “buddy system” and convince your friend to join you as you try to make changes in your lifestyle, since having someone who can relate to your problems and succeed alongside you can make your goals less daunting.

5. Don’t expect perfection.

Hitting a bump in the road is a natural part of life, so when you set out to change large aspects of your everyday routines and lifestyle, you shouldn’t expect complete success throughout the entire year. Sometimes it gets hard to complete everything you want, and other times life itself just gets in the way, so don’t be too hard on yourself and give up at the first roadblock on your way to completing your resolutions.

6. Ask for help.

Similar to sharing your experiences, seeking advice or guidance on how to achieve your goals can also help you stick to your resolutions. If a friend of yours is always on the honor roll, asking them for studying tips or tutoring can help you make the grade, as well.

Making resolutions can be a great way to finally fix issues you’ve been putting off, turn over a new leaf, or give yourself a clean slate, and by using these tips you’ll (hopefully) be able to make and complete all of your goals for this year. Good luck!

Alivia Smeltzer-Darling is a junior at City Honors School.