Ringing in the New Year at Dimensie
A new year has started and so many people feel like this is the chance to change and improve their lives, cheers to #newyearnewme. To do this, we often make concrete plans and determine our goals and even write them down. Research has shown that more than 50% of adults make new year’s resolutions, however only 10% actually stick to them. This is often due to the False Hope Syndrome, which makes us believe that we can achieve more things faster and have higher energy than we actually have, increasing unrealistic goal setting.
So to combat this and make achieving your resolutions easier, here are some tips to stick to your plans:
Write them down.
I personally make a list with about 10 goals and put the piece of paper between the documents that I have to organize once in a while, so I will see them regularly, but not on an everyday basis.
Prioritize your goals.
Find out which goal is your main priority and which needs the most and longest work, and start with that. If you have shorter goals, you can just do them in between. If you have a goal such as drinking less, you can already start tracking your intake from the beginning of the year (New Year’s Eve doesn’t count, duh).
If you’re like me, and you want a six-pack, you have to be realistic and decrease the amount of M&Ms you eat. So if your eating habits are horrible, you might want to work on those before working on other things.
You can also make it easy for yourself and increase the positive reinforcement you can give yourself. If you write “don’t smoke” but you’ve never even touched a cigarette in your life, you will be happy by the end of the year that you’ve achieved at least something.
Don’t limit yourself.
Of course, it’s possible to study 8 hours a day and go for a run every morning, the only limit is yourself. However, if you’re really lazy or don’t hate yourself, you better don’t write this down. Again: be realistic.
What I want to say is: you are your limit. If you really really want something, you can definitely achieve it.
For inspiration and possible reference, we asked Dimensie members to share their resolutions with you and we also added helpful tips on how to achieve them.
“Be on time at least sometimes. Like, seriously, it’s getting ridiculous. “
Set an alarm or ten to wake up on time and also set an alarm for around 10 minutes before you have to leave the house. This way you will be able to finish up what you were doing, find your keys (you already found your phone thanks to the alarm), and get dressed.
“I don’t dare to come up with new resolutions as I am still working on my to-do list from 2016/2017”
It’s a new year, look at what really was so important in 2016 that you still have to do it 5 years later and have your focus set on the future.
“Read a book at least once a month (and finish the ones I bought but never read)”
First, finish the books that you already have and afterward make sure to only buy short books, so you know you will make it in any case, especially in modules where you have to read a lot.
“Finish my bachelor”
Go to your (online) classes, study for exams and develop a good way that works for you writing your bachelor thesis. Good luck, you can do it!
“Learning a new instrument during the lockdown(s)”
Research online which instruments are affordable and make sense with your living situation (if you live in a 6 m² room, a big piano or drum set might not be the best option). There are tons of YouTube videos for pretty much every instrument. Set a goal about which song you want to learn and believe in your abilities. It improves your mental capabilities and learning it with friends might even double the fun and increase your social contacts. Why not go big and start a band with all the people feeling motivated by this?
“Being more organized in my studies”
Make lists for each module for the chapters you have to learn for each exam and create a timeline for when you need to have studied them. Also, check for which chapter is discussed during which lecture and make sure you’re at least a bit prepared for those.
“Trying to be more independent in my studies and not rely too much on others and their summaries”
Same here, also try to make your own summaries. You can even try to write summaries for Athena for example, so you have more motivation to actually do so.
Furthermore, studies showed that flashcards are one of the best study methods to remember study material.
“Finally doing a Dutch course at Uni”
Yes, do it! They’re pretty cheap and don’t take up too much time, especially in the beginning. Just check the UT Language Center website and sign up as soon as you can. You can also watch a lot of Youtube videos and ask other people who want to learn Dutch together to meet online to have Dutch conversations without any pressure.
“Take more time for me and be more aware of my emotions”
This is a great resolution. You can start by planning 10 minutes each morning which is just for you and your cup of tea or coffee. You can also try meditation or mindfulness and reflecting on your day each night before going to bed. To get an extra amount of happiness, make it a habit to think about a thing you’re grateful for every evening.
“Losing a bit of weight wouldn’t be that bad”
Try to improve your eating habits, replace sugary drinks with water and tea, reduce the amount of alcohol, and if you want, you can look for fitness videos online before going to the gym. Also, setting a nice goal, such as nice new summer clothes, or taking that Instagram selfie for all the haters, might make great motivators.
“Finish a beer crate on one day all by myself”
This works best if you don’t plan on drinking less. But the execution is easy: Buy a crate of beer and drink it. For less time pressure, start early in the day and try to do it during the holidays, so you’re free that day and on the following day. You can also do it with a friend, so you’re not drinking alone. However, be careful and if the cashier asks if the crate is all for you, lie. Maybe also hide your phone, so you can’t text your ex or send everyone embarrassing snaps.