By Lexus Yamashiro | Staff Writer

As 2017 comes to a close, the list of New Year’s resolutions begin to emerge from desk drawers and back pockets as people prepare themselves for, what they hope is to come, a better year. Making these firm decisions benefit everyone differently and result in various outcomes, but all are able to share one common accomplishment in making these resolutions: those who compile New Year’s resolutions are able to acknowledge that there are certain aspects to them that should be improved or changed.

It’s normal for people to notice when a quality about them is out of place, but turning these much-needed improvements into resolutions for the new year often defeats the purpose of being a genuine resolution.

Looking back, I stated last year in Kapiʻo’s New Year’s Resolutions Word on the Street that I would want to improve my time management and make an attempt to work out to get in shape. Other than walking for about an hour around the area I live for at most two days a week, I have made no major attempts to try and change myself for the better. These resolutions have been repeated each year for awhile now, and because of this I now see that making New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time unless if time and effort is put into achieving them.

Instead of making resolutions at the end of the year, they should be turned into short and long-term goals that will at least allow individuals more time to thoroughly think through what exactly they want to accomplish. In certain situations, not all resolutions that are made can be accomplished within a year’s time.

If a person wanted to lose 50 pounds, this could take a few months or more than a year depending on the individual’s energetic ability. Other factors, in the case of a college student, such as stress eating and having the freedom to eat whatever and however much desired can also affect that person’s motivation to take control.

These bad habits can be changed when the resolution to lose weight can be turned into a defined goal. Setting a short-term goal in increments will help to break down the process of achieving it, such as establishing that about five pounds should be shed within two weeks or 10 pounds should disappear within a month. Doing this will still give the resolution a purpose for the new year while being fulfilled slowly through specific steps.

For most students nowadays, especially college students, it would seem that the statement “stop procrastinating” would be one of the top priorities of their resolutions list. As this setback continues, students find themselves pondering throughout the semesters and at the end of the year to question themselves on why they chose to slack on assignments. Like in any other case, once the problem is acknowledged, it is an instinct, to most people, that some type of action should take place to prevent or solve the issue from reoccurring.

It is easy to tell ourselves statements along the lines of “Once I get the study guide, I’ll study every night to prepare for the test” or “I should start on this assignment as soon as I get home,” but what makes them possible is when a firm stance is taken to resolve the habitual action.

Starting out by writing deadlines down to prioritize assignments can help to build a stronger mindset of what should be completed in a timely manner. The use of a planner is beneficial in the sense that calendars and spaces for every day of the week are provided for students to jot down whatever notes necessary, but in the case that students are forgetful in reviewing it at home then turning to the devices that most of us use every day is another helpful trick to remember these important dates.

Miraculously with how technology has advanced, it is easy for people to set up an alarm with a task or reminder on their phone that will continue to pop up until completed. Choosing to decrease the chances of procrastinating with this option has its own perks, but if abused can lead to a heavy distraction.

Having to break the attachment that we have come to develop with our handheld devices is another common resolution that people want to fix. The use of social media and our cell phones in general are distracting and are probably the main reason why procrastination occurs. It is hard to resist opening a notification that pops up on the lock screen, and once it is acknowledged our thumbs go to work, hitting several letters or swiping in all directions of the screen.

If it is noticeable that more time is spent staring at a screen rather than a textbook or worksheet, then making the rightful decision of cutting out some phone applications for some time should make a difference. Logging out of social media apps, removing addicting games and silencing notifications will help to decrease the number of times we often check our phones, therefore forcing us to dedicate more time to what is most important at hand.

Although it may seem tough to develop new routines and to overcome old habits, people who define their resolutions with timely goals will be able to accomplish more throughout their life. Resolutions can be used as a foundation to track if improvements were made but in the end, it is empowering to see when results appear from the actions that we took to reach our goals; this is the change that most people want to see in the new year that will show the betterment that they made for themselves.