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Seven ways to turn unattainable resolutions into achievable goals

Seven ways to turn unattainable resolutions into achievable goals

Seven ways to turn unattainable resolutions into achievable goals
January 16
14:00 2020

The hustle of the holiday season is always (begrudgingly) traded for a new year with a new set of resolutions and expectations. This is a daunting time of year for many, as popular resolutions like losing weight, improving finances and managing stress better are so large and unspecific in scope that they tend to make people feel overwhelmed by the pressure to revolutionize their life. But you don’t need to make a complete lifestyle 180 on Jan. 1 in order to have a healthier, more organized and more sustainable year. There are plenty of little ways to reset parts of our life and still make an impact.

Unsubscribe to unwanted mailing lists

Are you constantly receiving ads and circulars in the mail just to immediately throw them out? Regularly getting mail showcasing new products and offers can clutter our living space and encourage poor spending habits, not to mention that the monthly deliveries produce more waste from the environment. Take the time to unsubscribe from physical mailing lists, opting for email instead from the companies you’ll actually use (think about it: if you’re receiving daily emails from a company that you virtually never use and hardly even open, it’s probably not worth the extra clutter in your inbox.)

Make measurable, incremental alterations for your physical health

Making drastic dietary changes with harsh restrictions are virtually never sustainable. Instead, opt for incremental dietary changes, like swapping out one meal a day for a healthier alternative or reserving dessert for weekends only. The same goes for exercise: If you do not currently work out at all, you won’t be able to suddenly maintain a regimen of 5+ times per week. Even something as small as getting 1,000 extra steps per day can add up and gives you the building blocks you need to work your way to a more regular workout routine.

Replace products as they run out with healthier and more eco-friendly options

There are so many companies out there who are making a conscious effort to create products that are less harmful to animals, the environment and the user. Purging your hygiene, beauty and cleaning products all at once can cost a hefty sum, so rather than replacing everything at the start of the year, vow to repurchase healthier products as you run out. When you need more deodorant, skip the toxins and buy aluminum-free, or replace your chemically-loaded detergent with a gentler and more natural solution.

Implement small changes in your spending habits throughout the year

Making financial changes can work like a diet: The discipline to adhere to a strict budget does not come overnight, so forcing yourself to drastically alter your spending habits in an instant could lead to that “screw it!” moment where you splurge and do more damage than you would have if you had opted for moderation instead. Focusing on smaller changes that you make over time is far less painful and more likely to work in the long run. In January, set a goal to purchase one less coffee per week, and in February, you can set up a carpool to save money on gas.

Be intentional with scheduling in homework

While resolving to improve your grades or stop procrastinating on assignments is admirable, it’s not likely to stick without a more concrete plan for when or how you’re going to do it. If you constantly find yourself waiting until the last minute and then scrambling to submit subpar work, analyze your current schedule. Figure out whether you work better first thing in the morning, after lunch or in the evening and then carve out a set time every week to work on upcoming projects or assignments. Treat that block of time as if it were a class that you are required to go to and stick with it — you’ll thank yourself when you no longer have to pull an all-nighter before a test or due date.

Clear out your technology

Cutting out clutter is a great way to help clear our heads and feel more organized. Delete the photos and screenshots from your camera roll that you don’t use anymore, delete contacts for people you don’t speak to and clear out the notes you don’t need anymore. Even deleting unused apps can help simplify your space.

Set (reasonable) limits on phone usage

We all could all benefit from spending a little less time on our phones. But if your current screen time clocks in at around five hours a day, there’s no point in setting a one hour daily limit because you’re almost guaranteed to turn the limit off. Instead, look at how much screen time you average per day and then set your limit to 30 minutes less than that. Over time, you can build this limit up, but you won’t notice it as much as you would an extreme cut.

Lastly, remember that there are at least 364 other days in the year to make small improvements to your life. No one expects you to radically change who you are each January, so focusing on hitting those tiny measurable goals throughout the year can add up to huge change by December.

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

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Haley Arnold

Haley Arnold

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