Illustration Courtesy of Erik Nelson Rodriguez
Illustration Courtesy of Erik Nelson Rodriguez

A Guide on how to Achieve your New Year’s Resolutions

For busy college students, managing New Year’s resolutions can become difficult. However, here are a few tips that can be used to stay motivated and keep the resolutions during the semester.

Start small

Big New Year’s resolutions can be intimidating and difficult to keep, but one way to make sure you’re staying on the right track is to make smaller goals that divide the daunting task at hand. Smaller goals are typically easier to accomplish, and by completing them, you can see yourself moving closer to the end goal. By breaking resolutions down into manageable chunks it is easier to see change which keeps you motivated in the long run.

On the other hand, having a small resolution is also helpful. In other words, make a resolution that you can keep. It’s important to remember not to overwork yourself. A resolution is a goal that can improve the way you live; do not feel pressured to change your entire life in one year. Start small and move slow until you reach the goal you want to achieve.

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Between class and extracurriculars it may seem difficult to find time to continue and complete your resolutions. A simple fix is to schedule accordingly. Buying a planner or using a calendar app on your phone are some of the best ways to stay organized and plan out your day. An essential ingredient to completing your goals is to have a time frame to work on them. Blocking off time each week keeps motivation at a high and puts you on the path to success.

While keeping a set schedule can be good, it is also important to stay flexible. As a college student, schoolwork and extracurriculars can sometimes pile up fast. Do not beat yourself up if you need to take a day off — this happens. Try not to give up; no one is perfect and keep that in mind if you need to take a break.


As the year continues, having a set plan to maintain your resolution is essential. When temptation strikes it is important to have a countermeasure put in place. On the other hand, when you complete a goal, it is nice to have a reward system in effect. Go to the store and buy a journal or a binder to plan out your goals and ways to achieve them. Keep your journal with you to refer back to it along the way.

Some things to include are the smaller goals you want to achieve during the year and a time frame to complete them in. This will keep you on track throughout the year. Additionally, write out a list of ways to counter temptation, like calling a friend or reminding yourself of how hard you’ve worked up until now. Lastly, write out a list of rewards that you will receive as you accomplish your goals.


Keeping a New Year’s resolution can be difficult if you’re doing it by yourself. One good way to stay on top of your goals is to do them with friends. Have a close friend or group of friends make similar resolutions so that you are able to accomplish them together. Achieving goals can be more fun when you aren’t alone.

Even if your friends make different resolutions, tell each other about your goals. Grab a group of close trustworthy people and tell them about your plans. Your friends and family will support you during the year when the going gets tough. It also aids in motivation because everyone wants you to succeed.


A good way to stay motivated is to give yourself rewards after completing small goals. During planning, you should be thinking about these rewards and when to receive them. One fun reward could be everytime you complete a goal put $5 in a jar. At the end of the year you can take out all of the money and buy yourself a present for completing your resolution.

A simpler reward could be just going to the movies with your friends or buying yourself a new outfit. Rewards do not have to be elaborate; sometimes it just means taking a day off to do something fun. However, be cautious with rewards, make sure they don’t contradict your resolution, because one reward could end in a slippery slope back to where you started.

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