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Create new habits to stick to your resolutions

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Create new habits to stick to your resolutions

New year, new me.

New year, new me.

Shelby Guidry

New year, new me.

Shelby Guidry

Shelby Guidry

New year, new me.

Natasha Spradlin, Reporter

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It’s officially 2018 and for many people at the University of South Alabama, the new year represents a fresh start. Whether your goals are to practice a healthier lifestyle, save money or spend less time consumed on social media, the success of your resolutions relies heavily on your ability to ditch old habits and create new ones.

USA student Emily Wilkinson is confident 2018 will end in triumph for her.

“I’ve set goals every new year that I’m going to lose weight, eat healthy, do this, do that,” Wilkinson said. “But that never seems to work. I’m setting different goals for myself this year. I want to focus more on my school work and strive to be a better person. I want to focus on myself and my mental health, instead of wasting time on negative stuff. I think it will be easier for me to accomplish my goals this way because I’m in it for the right reasons.”

A sure way to set yourself up for success is to establish why you’ve chosen your resolutions. Accountability is a key characteristic of self-discipline. Don’t cheat yourself out of a meaningful reflection.  It’s not enough to say “I just do,” because this lacks commitment.  Imagine yourself months from now and write a letter as if you accomplished or failed your goals. What could you have done better? How do you feel knowing you followed through?

Joel Rogers, a former USA student, sought to gain better control over his finances in 2017 and believes his efforts are going to pay off in 2018.

“I have been struggling with repaying debts,” Rogers said. “But I have completely reorganized how I handle my finances. I’ve taken out two consolidation loans so that I have a fixed rate, and can pay off one loan rather than multiple at a time. My fiance and I have been saving money by cooking at the house a lot more, and planning what we are going to eat instead of eating out. It’s little things like that which have really helped us stay on track.”

I am the most committed to my goals when I set realistic expectations. My goal was to read more and log onto social media less but this was easier said than done. I did not understand how integrated social media is in both my personal and professional life. I had to change the way I thought in addition to the way I behaved before I noticed results.

I found that I remain motivated when I work towards reducing triggers rather than depriving myself of joy. I learned moderation instead of inflicting unnecessary suffering during the pursuit of my goals. Moderation taught me balance; to indulge, but to do so with boundaries. I deleted social media apps off of my phone and set specific times dedicated towards online work. Now I am able to read one book per week and keep up with the outside world without wasting my entire day on the web.

I did not avoid setbacks altogether and quickly realized it is easy to belittle and punish ourselves for our less-than-ideal behavior throughout the year. As the saying goes, “we are our own worst critics.” However, the people around us can have tremendous impact our goals, too! Make a conscious decision to act as your No. 1 confidant in 2018. Choose to surround yourself with people who encourage and uplift you, and remember no one knows you better than you know yourself. You’ll squash your new year resolutions in no time.

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Create new habits to stick to your resolutions