New Years Resolutions are a practice that has been around for centuries. As the term suggests, resolutions are intended to allow people to fix their past mistakes. However, as society evolves, so do our resolutions. Commonly, the beginning of a new year means the start of losing weight, quitting a bad habit (such as smoking), saving money, or even learning a new language.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with setting goals and expectations for yourself. Goals provide us with something to strive for.
However, we need to know when these goals are impractical. Telling ourselves that 2018 will be the year that we go to the gym every day is not going to make it happen. We have to truly want it and know we will remain loyal to our ambitions. Only about 8% of people achieve their resolutions. Don't be a statistic, right?
I believe that New Years Resolutions are often all-or-nothing and generalized. The secret to self-improvement is baby steps and specificity. Do you want to be healthier? Start with getting more vegetables in your diet and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. The task of being "healthier" is overwhelming, and too broad to know which direction to go in. Instead of wasting your money on a treadmill that you'll use twice, or one of those expensive gym memberships, try walking around your campus/neighborhood/etc. instead.
The reason why I never make New Years Resolutions is that I know that self-improvement is constant. I'd much rather go with the flow and see what I need to improve on now, rather than leave it for next year. However, I know that lists help some people. Instead of making a long list of things you want to achieve over the course of the year, think in the short term. This makes the goals more tangible, and less overwhelming.
Good luck in 2018.