The University of Southampton
Life at Southampton

Realist Resolutions

Yes yes yes, just frequent Hartley Library more, give up those roll ups, start eating something other than Weetabix.

Resolutions take seconds to make but take a lot more seconds to actually complete. By mid-January, people’s resolutions all around the world have crumbled to the floor.  If you haven’t made a resolution, make one now. Yes right now. Okay well maybe after you’ve read this. Committing to a change in your life is a great opportunity and the options are endless (why not try learning the Kazoo!?).

Here are a few tips from Uncle Chaz to keep your plans active. Be warned, there is some life coach wishy washy-ness, but it does genuinely help.

Make a checklist

Making a checklist is a sure way to make sure you’re keeping up progress. Having a physical checklist keeps you in line and offers a little noodle of satisfaction when you make that green tick. It also allows you to notice when you’ve been slacking so you can make up for it. Less regretting, more go-getting! (I warned you.)

Is putting “make checklist” into a checklist just meta, or does it count as all-out cannibalism?

‘Will’ not ‘should’

Apparently the vocabulary you use can alter your willingness to fulfil certain behaviours. ‘Should’ implies a sense of duty and also there’s a chance it won’t happen. ‘Will’ however creates a sense of certainty about the statement and builds on your willpower.

Yes, I WILL eat something green every day.

Make your commitment public

We care about reputation more than we’d like to admit. By making your resolution public, for example by announcing it on social media, you’ll be more motivated to stick to your objective because you don’t want to let down the people whose opinions you care about. Keep that reputation shiny!

Many hands make light work

Make allies with your resolutions. Having an amigo to join you on your no tobacco rollercoaster will help since you know they’re going through the same thing as you. It can keep you motivated as you sludge through the winter mud on the Southampton Park Run.

“That’s a weird looking apple.”

Think crumbs, not cakes

No no no Joe, put that resolution down, it won’t fit in the car! Some resolutions are just begging to be broken. Make gradual, specific and realistic changes rather than all or nothing. Learning a language is a pretty bold claim for example. Scale that rascal down to something like ‘spend 5 hours a month on language learning apps’.

Resolutions don’t have to be life-changing either. One of mine for example is to watch a TED talk every week. Every little helps, whatever your goals or aspirations are. By breaking your goals into crumbs, you can better achieve them. And most importantly – have faith folks. The only true barrier is yourself!

What are your resolutions for 2018?


  • Razwana Quadir


Share this post Facebook Google+ Twitter Weibo