Realistic Resolutions for the New Year

Photo by Glen Carrie from Unsplash

I am a first-year Writing student. The golden rule of the writing program, the word that has been drilled into us from day one, is specificity.

Specificity is something that caught my attention when thinking about my 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Each year, I find that whatever goals I have tend to be broad—too broad to truly feel like I have accomplished anything. Exercise more. Snapchat less. Drink more water. Spend less.

More and less aren’t very specific words, which is why I, and I think a lot of the people around me, aren’t terribly successful when it comes to conquering our New Year’s resolutions.

This year, I decided to try something a little different. Here are my 6 specific, quantifiable new year’s resolutions. I’m confident that having an actual value attached to them will force me to stick to them.

1. Keep to a $20 limit per week on unnecessary food expenses.

This includes eating out, grabbing a coffee on campus, late-night snack cravings, etc. I’m fortunate enough to live at home, and I know I need to appreciate my home-cooked meals more than I already do.

2. Write at least a page in a journal for each week of 2020.

Life is busy, and I’m not going to force the expectation on myself that I must remember every detail of 2020. But I often find at the end of the year that I regret not taking more time to enjoy the small things.

3. Carry a notebook and jot down any and all worthwhile ideas that cross my mind.

What I’ve learned about myself by taking ED-D 101 (Learning Strategies for University Success) is that I spend a lot of time thinking about thinking. I get so caught up planning things out in my head, but it’s impossible for me to just grab a pen and put the thoughts and plans to paper.

4. For every new item of clothing I buy, I must donate or sell an existing one.

Really, the point of this one is to encourage me to stop spending way too much money on clothes when I already have plenty at home. A bursting closet always makes me feel guilty of my financial decisions.

5. Find a deeper focus on schoolwork by working for an hour, then taking a half-hour break.

This tip is what I see in every motivation and university success blog. It’s all over my Pinterest. Yet it still takes me twice as long to make Spanish vocab questions because I can’t help but check my Snapchat every few minutes.

6. Spend a minimum of three hours a week exercising. 

Even if it’s at 11 pm. Even if it’s walking my dog at a slow pace. Even if it’s midterm week. This is important.


I hope my realistic resolutions inspired you to create a list of your own. Best of luck and Happy New Year!

You may also like...