On January 12th, talk of National Quitters Day circulated across the internet. A symbol of lost
hopes and dreams on the second Friday of the month seems demoralizing, but apparently it is the
most likely day for people to quit their pursuit in finding a better version of themselves in the
new year. This idea is further perpetuated on January 17th, the national day for ditching New
Year’s Resolutions. Moving into the second month of 2024, how can we ensure that we carry our
goals with us after January and beyond?
Each year, you may set out on your quest for the new you and somehow always seem to fall
short. But don’t feel discouraged, it’s normal to get ahead of ourselves, creating lofty goals that
fail to be grounded in the present. It is imperative to maintain a mindful attitude of where we are
currently at and sometimes that means slowly working our way up to where we want to go,
despite initial excitement. Here is a simple guide to get on track and stay there.
First Steps
Begin by identifying your goals for the year, no matter how ambitious and then write them out.
Pause and assess your current life situation. Based on this, what might achieving your goal
actually look like? Next, rewrite your plan based on which parts of your goal are most realistic to
Shoot for the stars, land on the moon
Grandiose thinking is the number one reason why we may fail only a few weeks after creating
resolutions for the new year, but it doesn’t have to always be a bad thing! Enthusiasm about
getting on top of things is integral to the betterment of ourselves, but may often tend to reflect
the anticipation of rewards rather than the actions of consistently putting in the work that is
needed to get there. Think of that dream scenario, but take some time to reflect on your current
mindset and habits.
Reflect on the past
Before beginning on a self-improvement journey, it can be beneficial to examine your past
experiences with setting and maintaining goals by recognizing how the barriers you have
encountered could impact your ability to achieve them. By reflecting on the reasons that led to
you struggling to stay committed to previous efforts, you can map out a more reasonable
approach to realizing your goals now and in the future. For instance, setting out to exercise every
single day when you haven’t set foot in the gym in six months may feel extremely unrealistic,
and even attempting to be consistent with three days a week to start may be harder than you
think. Try to be consistent in achieving small victories like just getting some movement in once a
week and slowly increasing frequency from there.
Assess your reality and your why
After recognizing what goals you are setting out to accomplish, the next step is to realize the
reasons behind the desire to make positive changes in your life or behavior. Assessing the
commitment you are making to yourself can help to make the process as a whole feel more
impactful on your life and be seen as a worthwhile decision. Ask yourself these questions: How
do I feel right now? What are the things in my life that I am comfortable with, and what are the
things that are causing me discomfort? What things can I implement to challenge myself while
still considering what I am currently committed to? Why do I feel like I need to make these
changes at all?
Create a better you
There are so many ways that we can go about creating the best versions of ourselves. Maybe
that’s done by finally committing to that book that’s been sitting on the nightstand for months,
carving out more time with loved ones or making sure you get your daily steps in. Creating
habits that center around your physical and mental wellbeing can have profound benefits in all
areas of your life and has the potential to be extremely transformative.
Utilize support networks
Despite goals which center around personal development being an individual process, support
networks can be integral for maintaining accountability on our journey. This may look like
seeking out a friend to commit to a weekly exercise session, taking on a challenge with a
romantic partner, joining a community network with like minded individuals, or just having
someone to check in with every week on your progress. Really take stock of what or who you
have available to you and consider how you can lean on others if things take a turn.
Other methods to keep us in check may be through tracking progress in the physical world such
as calendars, planners, charts, journal entries or progress pictures. A collection of evidence,
where all of your hard work is able to be reflected on can be a great motivator when we may start
to lose a bit of steam.
It’s all coming together
In the face of National Quitters Day let’s redefine our approach to resolutions. Setting and
consistently adhering to your goals can be a fantastic way to grow and develop yourself as an
individual but making changes can be hard! By staying realistic, assessing commitment,
reflecting on past experiences, building a support network, and creating a personalized path to
self-improvement, we can defy the odds and achieve sustainable personal growth. Remember,
the journey to the best version of yourself is ongoing – embrace the process, celebrate the small
victories, and keep moving forward. Here’s to a year of perseverance and becoming the best
version of you!

Authors: Gali Aviram, Paolo Medellin T4P Interns 2024