Setting realistic resolutions for a new you and new year


Richard Martinez/Iowa State Daily

Infographic: New Year’s Resolutions

Three, two, one, Happy New Year! 

As the year comes to an end, it only means there’s a new beginning. This year was full of success but there’s always more room to exceed. Resolutions are meant to be made for the new year, which makes the current time a perfect opportunity to start thinking about 2015 resolutions.

According to, 45 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions, but only eight percent of them actually achieve them. 

Among those resolutions, 66 percent of them are fitness-related goals. However, Steve Salerno, author of “Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless,” questions if the act of making these resolutions is distracting from the actual goal.

“Just the act of making a resolution can make you feel temporarily better, enough that it obviates further action,” Salerno said. “Do we all not know people who make the same resolutions year after year? Or maybe we are that person. My concern is that the resolution takes the place of the action.”

In order to prevent a lack of execution on this year’s resolutions, it’s important to have an action plan in place  to take on the goals you set for yourself. For example, instead of just making a goal to lose 10 pounds by spring break, make it a priority to get to the gym four times per week.

By celebrating the accomplishments of smaller and attainable goals, it can provide more motivation to continue the pursuit of a larger achievement.

“Start doing what makes you happy because enjoyment in whatever you do is the ultimate goal,” said Kenya Bostic, junior in animal science.

An important aspect to keep in mind during the New Year’s resolution time is to not give up. If a slip up occurs, do not wait a year to start over. 

“I think a lot of people focus on the physical when setting goals during New Years, but I encourage my peers to take this time during break to re-evaluate their own personal situations and be realistic in the goals they set,” said Veronica Middlebrooks, senior in biology. “And have fun.”

 When making New Year’s resolutions, be sure to keep not only your physical health in mind, but your mental health too.  To help stick with your goals, write them out and post them somewhere they can be seen.  

Having trouble coming up with realistic resolutions? Here are a few places to start: 

Beauty resolutions

Jump-start into 2015 with these five changes to your beauty routine:

1) Beauty sleep. Fair and beautiful Aurora wasn’t called Sleeping Beauty for no reason. Sleep is considered to be necessary to keep individuals looking rejuvenated and flawless. The average adult should get a good seven hours of sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

2) Repair the hair. Winter is a time of year when the hair dries out the most. Consider buying moisturizing hair products that contain oils and serums that replenish the hair.

3) Detoxify. Starbucks is definitely a gal’s best friend, but it’s time to make some slight changes. Give the body a rest from all the added sugars by detoxifying. Replace coffee with tea. As known to many cultures, tea is a beauty and health beneficiary for the body. According to Tea Detox, tea is a great way to cleanse the body, giving an overall even and brighter-looking skin complexion. Try out some green or black tea to get healthier and younger looking skin for this coming year.

4) SPF. Wearing sunscreen in the heat of summer is important, but not many individuals know that even in the winter, the skin is still exposed to harmful UVA and UVB rays. There are various amounts of moisturizer that contain SPF, so consider a moisturizer that work best for a particular skin type. By using moistures that contains SPF, the skin is able to protect itself from future aging.

5) Nail care. Buff up those dull nails with a New Year’s resolution punch. By putting some coconut oil on the cuticles of the nail, individuals are able to create more efficient, brighter looking cuticles. Keep nails healthy and clean by exfoliating the top of your nails and finish with a clear coat.

Physical health resolutions

Often, food and nutrition resolutions are made and broken fast. Resolutions, especially ones involving food, are often difficult to maintain because people often set unrealistic expectations for themselves and their diets. 

Here are two dietary resolutions:

1.) Hydration and snacking. Staying hydrated, even in the winter months, is critical to staying healthy. From assisting with digestion to maintaining good blood pressure to promoting a healthy metabolism and immune system, water is essential on a daily basis. Try drinking six to eight bottles of water a day in 2015, along with choosing snacks that are high in protein with a more nutritious value.

2.) Moderation, regulation, and balance. Very few foods are completely bad to consume if consumed in moderations, per the individual’s dietary needs. Resolving to eat when hungry and stoping when full can be tough, but can prevent overeating and assist in weight management.  Eating healthier, more nutritious snack and meal options in moderation will help provide that balance. Staying fully hydrated and regulating energy input and output will provide more freedom in the food choices available for consumption.

Mental stability resolutions

1.) Reduce stress. Try yoga, go on evening walks or reduce your workload.

2.) Find a new hobby. Check out clubs around campus or local organizations.

3.) Stay in touch. Text your old high school friends and see how they’re doing or pick a relative to call for weekly chats.

4.) Volunteer more. Check out The Shop, Food At First, or even the local Humane Society.

5.) Learn something new. Sign up for a class totally out of your comfort level, attend lectures on campus or use YouTube for its many helpful tutorials.

6.) Be more kind. Smile more, hold the door even when you’re in a hurry or ask someone how they are doing and actually care about the answer.

7.) Become more organized. Make a plan to clean your room once a week, throw away papers you no longer need or clean out your closet and donate old clothes to Goodwill.

8.) Be more spiritual. Pray before bed, meditate or attend church.

9.) Stay informed. Watch the news, subscribe to a newspaper or check news sites daily.

10.) Be more positive. Focus on things that went well throughout the day and write them down, leave sticky notes on friend’s doors reminding them of why you appreciate them or write motivational notes on your bathroom mirror .