text: Andreea Decean

ilustratie: Larisa Petcut

So, we’re going into February… how are those new year resolutions holding up? Still eating healthy? Being mindful? Working out? Not drinking? (I know, they’re cliche resolutions, just bear with me) I’m guessing they’re not going as good as you wished they were, now I’m just assuming, so if I got it completely wrong and you’re right on track, feel free to click out of this article, but if you’re finding yourself in what I’m babbling on about here, you might want to stick around and see how to not cancel that gym membership or not say “2023 is *definitely* going to be my year”.

Hi, I’m Andreea and I’ve probably set myself every resolution out there in the past few years and have managed to keep essentially none, until, let’s say last year, so today I’m going to let you in on the few little secrets that have helped me stay on track and achieve my goals.

Why the way you are setting your resolutions is wrong 

This is a bold statement and I’m not saying that I have the answer to all your issues, but give me a chance to see if I get this right. 

31st of December is approaching and you once again realize that you’ve gotten through another year without really reaching most of your goals, so you grab a fancy new notebook and you start jotting down a list

2022 new year resolutions

  • Eat healthy
  • Work out
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Set boundaries
  • Study
  • Wake up early
  • Read
  • Walk 
  • Socialize

Don’t get me wrong, these are all great resolutions, I’ve set myself literally every single one of these, but let me tell you why they simply don’t work out. 

  1. Motivation doesn’t work
  2. Goals aren’t useful
  3. Overnight doesn’t last

Why you aren’t achieving your goals

Let’s get more specifically into it.

Motivation doesn’t work

Yes, I know, terrifying… the thing most of us count on doesn’t really want to help us up. What I mean by this is, yes motivation is great, it can sometimes work and at the root of all of our wishes motivation has a heck of a grip, however it is not what is going to get you out of bed doing everything you wrote on that list. Discipline is. Now, how does this work?

You are scrolling on tik tok, knowing that you should be studying. Is the motivation of going to your dream university what is going to make you stop mindlessly scrolling on social media (maybe) OR making it a habit, getting yourself used to what you know is right for you? This leads me on onto my second point…

Goals aren’t useful

Setting an endless list is going to do nothing but give you something to do without knowing the way. Let me put it this way… can you find a treasure without a map? solve a math problem without the formula? By setting goals you only see the end result, not the way to get there. I, therefore, present you systems not goals. Shortly, that purely means that once you’ve set those soo desired goals of yours you go on to figuring out how you are going to get there.

Overnight doesn’t last

My 3rd point, you’ve set those goals, you’ve made your systems and you are now certain that starting January 1st you aren’t going to scroll on social media or lay in your bed anymore and stick to a routine you figured out before your new years eve party. No, I’m joking, but we do have this tendency of believing that the new year is going to give us the way to stick to everything we have set for ourselves all of the sudden. I know slowly working on habits isn’t most appealing, because it doesn’t give instant results, but let’s be honest nothing in life really does. The way for all this work that you’ve planned to become a routine is through this word I keep mentioning, habits. I feel like everyone and their mother knows about this book, so I’m gonna make it short. Atomic Habits by James Clear, to summarize, essentially states that 

  1. Habits should be implemented gradually
  • don’t start all your habits on the same day, get one or two that are most important to you, stay consistent with them, and once they have truly become habits add onto them
  1. Add habits onto existing ones
  • Instead of trying to implement fully new habits out of nowhere try adding them to things that you already do constantly, brush your teeth everyday- read a page of a book; make a coffee daily- journal; listen to music every evening- do that on a walk
  1. Don’t let one day ruin your streak
  • You messed up, you didn’t do one of your habits today “I’ll get back on track next Monday, this week is already gone” No, you’re getting back on track tomorrow, or the day after, but don’t make it in such a way that the start of the week, or the month, or the year is the perfect *only* way to start doing something

Concrete Examples 

Okk, let’s talk punctually. I’m going to take that list that we made together at the beginning of our little talk and show you how it will look with the addition of everything we have discussed.

2022 new year resolutions

  • Eat healthy
    • Meal plan every Saturday
    • Go shopping on sunday for the rest of the week
    • Keep healthy snacks
    • If eating out, don’t need to get a salad (just don’t get McDonalds)
  • Work out
    • 30 minutes at 6PM every monday and tuesday workout with a Chloe Ting video
    • Stay in a squat while brushing teeth
  • Practice mindfulness
    • While waiting for bread to toast, say 3 affirmations
    • Before going to sleep, do a 5 minute yoga with Adrienne in bed
  • Set boundaries
    • Don’t interrupt work to answer texts
    • Don’t help others when it’s detrimental to you
    • Talk when not comfortable
  • Study
    • Review flashcards on bus/car to school
    • Blurt everything taught that day once getting back home
    • Keep study sessions short but consistent
  • Wake up early
    • Go to bed before 11pm
    • Set phone across room
    • Set morning routine
  • Read
    • Read 10 minutes after waking up
    • Read 10 minutes before going to bed
    • Stop reading the book if not enjoying
  • Walk 
    • Walk home instead of taking a car
    • Get a dog (joking, but not really)
    • Listen to Spotify playlist, pretend to be in a movie
  • Socialize
    • Check in with friends at least twice a week
    • Go out every other Friday

The list could probably go on and on, but I believe I have gotten my point across, so I’m going to wrap it up. As a person who’s struggled with keeping up all sorts of habits, I can confidently say, these actually work. Yeah, you’re probably gonna fail, so did I, so did every single successful person out there, but they got it together and kept it going. I’m not trying to turn this into a TED Talk, so I’ll stop the motivation speech there and wait for you to let me know how this New Year 101 course has helped you in figuring out how to make 2022 your year.