Making 2014 Your Year

new-year

Let me guess, every December you sit down and ask yourself: what could I do differently this upcoming year to make this one even better than the last? So your list probably looks a little something like this: eat healthier, exercise more, focus on relationships with family members, spend more time outside, be more adventurous, spend less time on social media, and wake up early to get your day going.

While these New Years resolutions may seem great in the moment, resolutions can be very challenging to keep. Just because the clock strikes midnight and the year changes, does not mean you will suddenly as well. Naturally, we as human beings develop different habits over time, which prove to be extremely difficult to break without practice and diligence.

There is no doubt that some days you will want to sleep in after a night out with friends, maybe you just don’t feel up to exercising, or perhaps you just want that giant piece of chocolate cake calling your name. We do not live in a perfect world, and there is no perfect person that is going to stick to every resolution. So, instead of forcing yourself to keep every unreasonable resolution, give yourself a break do the best you can. Here are tips on how to keep those resolutions without feeling too overwhelmed to ensure a great 2014!

  1. Create reasonable and realistic resolutions for yourself: Although we may all want to be that person who wakes up at 6 A.M. to see the sun rise on a 10-mile morning run, that may not be realistic. Not all of us were built to be morning people, and unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. Some of us need our beauty sleep in the morning, or maybe those couple extra minutes to adjust. If this is you, find a better time to go on that 10-mile run, perhaps to see the sun set. Set goals for yourself that you know you will keep. If you love eating candy at the movies, maybe decide you will bring your own bag so you know the exact portion size. Or if you know you spend too much time Facebook stalking, allow yourself a certain amount of time to get your social media needs out for the day. Figure out what is best for you, and stick to it!
  2. Don’t be afraid of failing: We all have days where the only thing that sounds good is laying in bed snuggled up with a blanket and Netflix. This is okay! Just because it is a new year does not mean we are always going to wake up feeling refreshed and energized. Life is a constant marathon and sometimes we just need to take a break. So even though one of your resolutions was to work out every day of 2014, maybe tell yourself one day this week will not be a big deal. In the scheme of things, just getting to the gym at least three or four times a week is great within itself!
  3. Find a resolution buddy: While we may feel embarrassed to talk about our resolutions, we are all thinking the same thing. Do not be afraid to talk about things that you want to change in your life with good friends and family. Your true friends will support you every step of the way. In fact, there is a good chance that someone you know has the same resolutions as you, therefore work on these together! Give each other reminders that this year you are working on changing some of your old habits. A little extra push goes a long way!
  4. Keep a journal: Fitness-ResoltuionsIt has been scientifically proven that when people write things down, they comprehend and remember more. Everyday, write down if you went to the gym, or if you ate healthy, or stayed off social media. That way, after the first month of the year you can see how great you are doing or what you need to improve on. Just because you skipped one day, does not mean the rest of the year is in shambles!

  5. Always be proud of yourself: The fact that you wanted to see a change in yourself is a huge step! It is difficult to keep all New Years resolutions. Reward yourself for the small steps you take, and eventually you will see huge changes. Life is a journey, and it’s okay to go over a few bumps on the way.

With this said, it’s not about being perfect; it is about being the best you can be. Happy 2014!

Niki Freed

Niki Freed is a second year student at the University of California, Santa Barbara studying Communication and Art History, and hopes to pursue a minor in Professional Writing: Multi Media Writing her senior year. After graduation, Niki plans on working as a visual communicator or a journalist. Even more, living a healthy life style is very important to Niki. She loves to exercise, especially hiking, swimming, cycling, running, and kick boxing. Also, maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is extremely essential to her. In Niki's free time she enjoys endless hours at the beach, traveling, shopping, "Friends," going to the movies, and spending time with family and friends.

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