Raise Your Standards to Accomplish New Year’s Resolutions

Markell Braxton-Johnson

Markell Braxton-Johnson

Around this time, people are in the beginning stages of their New Year’s Resolutions. We all know the usual ones: “I want to go to the gym more, eat healthier and lose weight,” “I want to study more and make better grades,” or, for the freshmen among us, “I want to drink less.” It isn’t hard to understand why resolutions are so popular around this time. The start of a new year brings an opportunity to hit the reset button on whatever area of your life needs it the most. Right now is the perfect time to start making positive personal changes.

Making resolutions that yield significant change isn’t easy, but our society has promoted certain attitudes that make them slightly easier. Shared excitement and social support often accompany resolutions. Despite this, however, the outcomes tend to less fruitful than we’d like to believe. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, by any meaningful criteria, less than 10 percent of Americans “felt they were successful in achieving their resolution.” Moreover, nearly 50 percent of people said they only managed infrequent success, if they were successful at all.

Although the reasons why people fail at New Year resolutions aren’t fully known, there are some obvious pitfalls that constantly trap goal-setting idealists. When people make goals, they tend to make them too general or based on superficial results. Not specifying exactly what you’re hoping to get out of your resolution will increase the likelihood that you’ll lose focus of it – eventually falling by the wayside. A resolution that is vague or only scratches the surface of a problem is bound to lead to failure. What at one point might have been an admirable goal will be turned into a flounder former aspiration.

I’ve noticed that the difference between the two is standards. The best way to avoid those pitfalls is to simply raise and maintain your standards – especially in areas that relate directly to your resolutions/goals. Before you get too carried away with your New Year’s resolution, do yourself a service: ask yourself “do my personal standards meet my goal?” If so, you’re on the right track to accomplishing your goal. If not, you ought to be honest with yourself, assess where your standards are, and discover a way to raise them in order to become the person you want to be in the future.