Punxsutawney Phil called for six more weeks of winter. Ladies and gentlemen, we made it to February.

How’s your New Year’s resolution coming along?

According to Forbes magazine, 40 percent of Americans will make a New Year’s resolution, but only eight percent will come to fruition. Yikes.

Can I be honest with you, friends?

I hate New Year’s resolutions.

What makes Jan. 1 a bigger day than a mere change in calendar year? What actually is different? Your influences, your schedule, your surroundings—everything is the same as it was on Dec. 31.

The magical change in year will not make you accomplish your goals. Habits are nearly set in stone, and it sure takes a lot of grit to scrub the stone clean of bad habits.

But of course, change is a good thing. Taking a moment to evaluate our lives is healthy.

Processing what you are proud of and what you are discouraged about, then looking ahead and envisioning the foreseeable future is necessary to nail whatever you’re itching to accomplish. If January 1 pushes you to do such introspection, that is fine by me.

However, I propose we instead make New Day resolutions. How freeing it is to wake up each morning and realize we have another shot to make changes?

If we already failed, we don’t have to wait until 2019. We can start again the minute we roll out of bed, or even with our very next breath. It’s a new day, and I resolve to live it abundantly.

My favorite artist of all time is Jon Foreman. He’s in a band from San Diego called Switchfoot. When I saw him in concert talking about the common grace we’re given in this life, he said, “Every breath is a second chance.” Amen.

What if we took our goals and instead of saying “I will lose my freshman 15” or “I will read 50 books by December,” we instead took it day by day?

This translates to, “I will do 20 minutes of cardio” or “I will read a chapter before bed instead of scrolling through memes.”

Take it slow, give yourself grace when needed, but also push yourself a little harder. See where you’re at in a couple weeks. I bet you made progress. I believe in you.

I’m a goal-oriented person; I love having items to cross off a list. My current New Day resolution is to scroll less, read more.

I downloaded a free app called “Moment” that tracks your phone usage and gives you insight into how many hours and minutes you have spent scrolling.

Some days are better than others. For example, the number of times I reached for my iPhone to Snapchat a friend back while writing this piece in the library is at least seven.

I noticed the days where I spent three or more hours behind a screen versus the days of under 45 minutes were noticeably more awful.

I can see an actual change in mood. Less screen time fully correlates into a more fruitful day. Reminding myself of this pushes me to keep my phone tucked away.

Little by little, we scrub our grimy bad habits away. Day in, day out, we have the power to set the foundation for the rest of our lives.

Lastly, I’m still sorting out this thing called life as much as the next person, but here are a few practical takeaways we can enact together:

1) Get a journal. Write down lists, results, failures, successes, business plans, prayers, what have you. Tracking will help you stay organized.

2) Make a plan. This is incredibly applicable if you’re training for your first half marathon or whatever the new hip fitness craze of the year is. It takes weeks to get to 13.1 miles, and it takes regimen to build up the stamina. Creating a plan will help you get there. Print it out and tack it above your desk. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

3) Wake up early. When have the extra three snoozes ever benefited you?

Running to your first obligation of the day groggy and unprepared will not do you well.

Rise and shine, collect your thoughts, brew some coffee. It’s a new day, new you.

Amanda Mills is a fourth-year student majoring in political science. ✉️ AM836938@wcupa.edu.

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