New Year, New Me


Mr. Sanders and Mr. Graham excited to give advice regarding New Year’s resolutions!

New Year’s marks a time for self-reflection and setting goals to strive for a better you. Most people take the opportunity to create resolutions and vision boards based on fitness, academic goals, or self-care but very few actually follow through with their plans, lasting only three to four months before giving up. Oftentimes, the fault lies not with what our goals are, but instead how we execute them. 

Mr. Sanders—a Glenbard West social studies teacher—emphasizes the importance of finding a balance between your goals and your daily routine: “Make your resolutions an everyday (but not major) part of your schedule. You don’t want to burn out, but you also don’t want to lose momentum or just casually think about a goal…Resolutions is a great opportunity to think about the things that were not the priority, and unfortunately for so many people work (or school) is the priority and in the hustle and bustle of the year, we lose sight of ourselves.”

Additionally, Mr. Graham—a Glenbard West math teacher—suggests breaking down one big resolution into many smaller goals, resembling an umbrella effect. He explains how “too grand of resolutions can make it really difficult to maintain after a few weeks but if you make it simple enough, you can stick with it long enough to make it a habit. Then, once you’ve mastered your first few resolutions, you can always choose to push yourself even more and add on a few more ideas.” 

Once you’ve broken down your resolution, create a schedule or a deadline that will help turn it into a habit. You will find it easier to stay motivated and stick to your goal when you have a step-by-step plan laid out and a date you need to finish it by. 

Equally helpful, involving others in your resolutions— whether that means doing it with someone else, telling someone about it, or posting about it on social media platforms—will keep you motivated.  According to Mr. Sanders, “including others in your resolutions creates support and celebrates your work you put in towards your resolution. Posting about it can even encourage you to focus on that goal since you are chasing that positive affirmation!” In addition, Mr. Graham says that “having another person to push each other can get you past the days when you really don’t feel like keeping your resolutions.”

A simple— but perhaps the most significant— step you can do is to track your progress and reward yourself. It is important to acknowledge how far you’ve gone and how much work you put in so that you are encouraged to continue to put in the hard work. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle a bit, giving yourself a few break days or treating yourself to something special now and then can have a remarkable impact on your motivation. As Mr. Sanders points out, “New Year’s goals should allow for you to adjust them over the course of the year. [We often forget] the goal of a resolution is not to just do a ‘thing.’ It is to make a lasting change that you can celebrate.”

If you haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions, it’s not too late to start. Mr. Graham says how “we always have some part of our lives that we can improve upon but if we don’t take a step back to consider it, we often don’t make the changes to make our lives a little better.”