Setting Realistic New Year’s Resolutions

Monday, 07 November 2011 02:10 Written by  Hiba Abdillahi

We’ve all been there, and we’ve all had that feeling. “It’s a new year, a new start, a new me,” right? We all know that sentiment of righteousness, the feeling that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to because of a “fresh” start. We can all identify with feeling as if each year brings another opportunity to start over.

As soon as Jan. 1 rolls around, we set goals. “I’m going to get in shape,” “I’ll drink more water,” “I’m not going to use bad language.” All sound familiar, right? The reality is that after New Year’s Day, or soon after, that goal slowly fades away.

I always set these crazy resolutions, knowing in the back of my mind that I might not even complete them. One year I told myself I wasn’t going to swear anymore. It was a nasty habit that I needed to fix since I was growing up, and in my mind, when you mature, there’s something you should leave in the past. It didn’t take long for me to go back on my “promise.” Only days after the new year, I slammed my hand in the car door and belted out the f-bomb. That resolution was shot! So were all the other resolutions. I couldn’t stop procrastinating, I couldn’t get more organized. I couldn’t stop splurging on the little things. I couldn’t find the strength to properly recycle.

As years passed, I realized that the problem wasn’t me, it was the expectations I put on myself. I pressured myself into thinking that I had to complete each task. Also, I was picking things that sounded realistic, but time consuming. We are all human, and at the end of the day, we can’t do everything.

My advice to you is to pick some things that can be easily done. Don’t put “end world hunger” on your list, but things like, “organize my closet” or “paint my room” may be more feasible. Strive for achieving little tasks that you know you’ll get around to, that you won’t feel pressured into finishing.

Little resolutions go a long way.

Hiba Abdillahi

Hiba Abdillahi

Hiba Abdillahi is a student at Columbia College Chicago, majoring in broadcast journalism. She aspires to be an international correspondent.

Hiba can be contacted at