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Making a (Lunar) New Year’s Resolution that Counts

It’s already been nearly a month into 2017… a month since the influx of “new year, new me” posts, a month since we bought those gym memberships and a month since we vowed to be H1/HD students.

Now that a month has passed, how many of us are on our way to achieving our resolutions? Or have we already started telling ourselves that 2018 will be the year? Now, I don’t want to sound all pessimistic and cynical but my guess is that most of us have fallen into the same trap as we do every year. I for one, am guilty too for slacking off already.

But what if I told you that we all have a second chance to make those New Year’s resolutions count?

That’s right… How many of you have heard of a Lunar New Year’s Resolution? Well, I haven’t either but who says we can’t use the same concept of resolutions and start applying it this weekend as the Lunar New Year festivities kick in? I’d say why not?

… but what even makes a good New Year’s Resolution?  

To be honest, this is something I struggle with every year, but after talking to a few people and scouring the internet, I think I have a better idea on how to construct a good resolution that actually counts. Resolutions that will actually stick for the year ahead. 

So here are a few tips and tricks to create the perfect resolution. Let's go.

1) Focus on what you want to achieve

Make your resolution count towards something you truly care about. The best resolutions connect to who we are and align to the changes we want to see both within ourselves and around us. We’ll be more motivated to work towards something we actually believe in. It’s fine to be ambitious as long as there is the drive to go out there and make it happen.

2) At the same time, it’s not just about you

Whilst it is all fine and dandy to centre your resolutions around improving yourself, it is a good chance to think about how we can contribute to our society and the world around us. For me, at least, it’s very rewarding and accomplishing to help others and it’s something I’ve done through volunteering locally and internationally. Consider how you can channel what you enjoy doing towards something with a greater purpose, eg. committing to volunteering once a week.

3) Simplicity is Key

Our lives are already complicated enough already. Make a resolution that's simple, easy to track and to the point.  

Forming a resolution that counts is one thing, but executing our goals is another story… because let’s face it, buying numerous planners and diaries just doesn’t work sometimes, although it doesn't hurt right??

4) Be specific or break them down

I told my friend that my New Year’s Resolution would be “to improve my Japanese fluency” to which he responded “that’s too broad”. Thinking about it, I guess it’s true. I wouldn’t know where to start and would probably end up demotivated. He suggested something like “not speaking a word of English while I’m on my exchange in Japan”. Now, that’s more specific and easier to track. If your goals are too broad then break them down into a few smaller actionable steps and that way we’ll have a clearer idea of how to tackle our resolutions.

5) Tell a friend

Share your resolutions with your friends and have a buddy to keep you accountable to your goals! We’ll see in a years time whether I do succeed in not speaking English at all during my exchange and keeping up a gratitude journal!

I don’t think there is a formula to produce the perfect resolution but it is important to go about the goal setting process the right way. Don’t commit to anything without knowing the vision behind why you want to. Most importantly, we don’t have to wait for the new year to make resolutions, we can start any time!

We still have 11 months to make 2017 the best year yet! 💪

Isabelle Gao

You could call Isabelle a bit of an “adrenaline junkie”... crazy about epic roller coasters and insane bungee jumps. While that is true, she is a current University of Melbourne student, toughing out a 4 year course in Commerce and Japanese. There is nothing Isabelle would enjoy more than simply reading a good book while drinking a nice matcha latte.