Last Updated: August 10, 2018, 12:32 pm

Making it happen: Creating realistic resolutions, goals


“This year I will be healthier.” “This year I am going to work out.” “This year I am going to get good grades.”

We’re all guilty of making these vague and stereotypical New Year’s resolutions, but does anyone actually follow through with them? According to, only 8 percent of people actually achieve their resolutions. Why is this? It’s not because only 8 percent of people want to achieve their resolutions. More likely it’s that they don’t know how to achieve their resolutions, or they lose motivation.

It’s easy to make a broad statement on New Year’s and then forget all about it by February, but here are some simple tips for those who want to turn those ideas into actions.

Make specific goals

Making a general resolution like “lose weight” or “get good grades” is a good start, but once a baseline idea has been set it’s important to narrow down your resolution into smaller and more specific goals, like “lose 5 pounds in January by going to the gym three times a week and cutting carbs from my diet.”

It’s hard to stick to a goal if there aren’t specific achievements laid out for you to accomplish, so once you’ve made your resolution try to narrow it down and find out what you really want to accomplish and how you are going to accomplish it.

Gina Gottfredson, a career coach in the Career Services Center said, “The more specific and the more outlined and the better plan a student can have then the more likely they’re going to accomplish that goal.”

Write it down

Not everyone enjoys sitting down and making lists, but getting your resolutions down on paper can help you visualize your goals, which can help in achieving them.  Tiffany Draper, the assistant director of orientation at DSU, said writing it down is the first step to making it happen.

In the Student Success Center on campus, there is a goal wall set up where students can write down their New Year’s resolutions and goals for the new semester. Draper said this helps students achieve their goals.

“We have a goal wall here for our student success students to be able to write a goal on a piece of paper and then tape it up on the wall,” Draper said. “So now it’s not just them who has seen it, they’ve written it down and other people are seeing it as well it so it gives them accountability.”

Focus on what you can control

Everyone feels overwhelmed at some point while working toward a goal. This can be attributed to loss of motivation; however, Draper said that it is usually more to do with the feeling of losing control. Students feel overwhelmed so they feel the need to give up completely, she said. But when you can sit down and think about what you do have control over, you are more likely to find the motivation to keep going.

Celebrate the small victories

It’s important to focus on the things you have accomplished rather than panic over things you haven’t. No success is too small when it comes to reaching goals. Shane Blocker, the assistant director of employer relations and internships, said when you accomplish a goal you feel excited about it, and it is important to celebrate those moments to remind yourself of the progress you have made.

“In school there’s projects that are going to be coming up and sometimes you feel refreshed after when those are done, but not really because there’s another project that’s in line but find those ways to give yourself little victories, and it becomes that much easier,” Blocker said.

Don’t feel bad for stopping to give yourself a pat on the back every once in a while; if you’ve accomplished something you deserve to celebrate that accomplishment.

Resolutions sometimes seem vague and unachievable, but if you work hard and set realistic goals for yourself, you can accomplish your goals and successfully complete those New Year’s resolutions.

So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of an unfinished resolution, remember these simple tips to help feel more in control.