Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are filled with resolution fever at the beginning of the year. However, most people only make resolutions to join in on the trend. These founded resolutions rarely include a follow-up plan. They usually consist of weight loss or weight gain goals, academic improvement and serious money saving. In some cases people even come up with resolutions together perhaps, to motivate each other.

The problem is that very few people actually follow through with the plans they have for the year. First-year BA Languages student Annamart Van Rooyen says that, “They are good motivation but they are also impossible to fulfil because we lack the necessary discipline.” First-year BA Law student Jabulani Motsepa says that, “New Year’s resolutions are an easy way to set yourself up for failure. They are exciting for the first week and then people get over it and stop sub-tweeting your progress updates.”

Another reason why New Year’s resolutions are unsuccessful is that people develop certain habits over time and these habits hinder you when you try to implement some changes. If you are trying to improve your academic record but have developed a habit of sleeping for hours after class, it certainly becomes more difficult to work harder because of hours lost.

Because of inadequate planning, people only jot down the end result, disregarding the most important part of having any kind of plan, which is the implementation process. First-year LLB student Nokulunga Malinga says, “At the beginning of this year my friend and I made big gym plans, then she got accepted at another university and chose to leave. And I, well, I still look the same way I looked on 5 January.”

Making mid-year resolutions can be used to remedy the failure of your New Year’s resolutions. A lot of time will have passed once you reach the halfway mark. Not only do you know what the year has brought forth but you also know what your faults are and if you can improve on them. Mid-year resolutions can be a check for whether you have got far with the plans you made at the beginning of the year or not.

There are functional steps to ensure that restoration of balance is acquired through mid-year resolutions. While you will never be in control of the probable turn of events, you can only plan and hope for the best. Should your New Year’s resolutions be unsuccessful, a simple step to follow is to be realistic. Realistic goals are less likely to set you up for a fall. You cannot just go from an extreme case to a very successful one in the time span of a few months, you need to work towards it.

Create an action plan. This is the most important part and could also be the most exciting as well. Use a chart and decorate it to make it appealing. You will want to follow it. List all the things you had hoped to have achieved by this time in the year and sort them, from the least to the most important and try again.

The mid-year mark is fast approaching. You might have missed your chance at the beginning of the year, but now you have another chance to get a motorbike licence, learn how to cycle or even go for something a little more drastic like improving on your chemistry. You can be quick to gather your life. Take advantage of the second half of the year to try to achieve your goals. You might just get something done this time.


Photo: Brendon Fraser

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