December is almost over. That means it is time to dust off those New Year’s resolutions once again. If you try to figure out how to better yourself every year, but find yourself unable to stick with those promises, help is on the way.
Here are some simple life hacks for college students to help teach you how to keep your resolutions this year and for many years to come.
Just say no
One way to avoid figuring out how to keep your resolutions is to simply not make any. In fact there are some people who would go so far as Jessica Lamb-Shapiro and say they are counterproductive, like in her article, “New Year’s Resolutions are Bad for You,” December 30, 2013, for Time. She wrote that not only do New Year’s resolutions typically fail—“only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions stick to them, and those who don’t usually abandon them after just one week” she said—but also the practice deprives college students and all people of the chance to make changes throughout the year.
Sure making that New Year’s resolution makes you feel better, temporarily, but unless your resolution is to make no resolutions, it is often harder than we think to change an engrained habit. And typically our resolutions are all about how to better yourself through changing your diet or your exercise routine or fixing some bad habit. If there were simple life hacks to do that, you wouldn’t be waiting until January 1 to make those changes.
Make better resolutions
If you still want to jump on the New Year’s resolutions bandwagon, there are some life hacks that can help you succeed. Chief among these, according to Ray Fisman’s post, “How To Make Better New Year’s Resolutions,” posted on slate.com December 31, 2012, is to resolve to do less.
But why should college students, or anyone for that matter, make a resolution to do less rather than figure out how to better yourself? Fisman asked Princeton psychologist Eldar Shafir and Harvard economist Sendhil Mullainathan that question and they argued “that when busy people get busier, it leads to ignored deadlines, a cluttered desk, and a vicious cycle of falling further and further behind.” So if you opt to cut back on what you are doing, you might actually succeed—not only in how to keep your resolutions, but also in other areas of your life as well.
Too often our New Year’s resolutions are about things and habits we want to give up. Trying to better yourself is fine, according to Fisman’s article. But the easiest method for how to keep your resolutions is to ensure those forms of betterment don’t require you to be constantly vigilant. So instead of trying to eat less ice cream, use a fridge that is smaller and has less space for ice cream!
How to keep your resolutions 2.0
Finally if you just can’t shake your urge to figure out how to better yourself with some New Year’s resolutions this year, there is an app to help with that! “New Year Resolutions: 40 Apps To Help You Achieve Them!” by Brian Voo for hongkiat.com offered some suggestions:
- Save money. Track what you spend and create budgets with apps like Toshl Finance, Concur, HeroWallet, Mint.com or Expensify.
- Eat better. Want help monitoring your diet and exercise habits? Download apps like Sworkit for circuit training workouts, Whole Foods Market Recipes for healthy meal suggestions or Restaurant Nutrition to make more informed choices when eating out.
- Change your habits. Want to break a bad habit or start a good one, but you need some help? Consider apps like Habit Maker Habit Breaker, which allows you to chart your progress, or Quitter, which helps you track the money you save by kicking a costly bad habit.
Will you or won’t you make some New Year’s resolutions this year? And do you have a plan for how to keep your resolutions? Let us know in the comments.