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Instead of giving myself a typical New Year’s resolution where I promise to eat healthier or exercise more, I decided that I would do a fun challenge that has been on my bucket list for a long time. I want to be able to take at least one picture every day for an entire year. I’ve always managed to forget about this challenge whenever a new year rolled around and it felt wrong to start in the middle of a year. When I was reminded about this challenge through a photo on Pinterest, I knew that it was time to give it a try. What a perfect way to remember the start of a new decade. Through this challenge, I hope to capture what made each day unique, even on the days that I don’t find particularly interesting.

Committing to a New Year’s resolution is hard, but not impossible. 

The first step is to break down the main goal one step at a time. Focusing on the long term goal can be overwhelming and can cause people to quit before they even start. For me, instead of stressing about how many pictures I will be taking every week or every month, I choose to focus on meeting the daily goal of taking just one photo. Having smaller goals gives you an easier target to reach and the success gained from reaching those goals can give you the motivation to continue toward reaching your larger goal.

Focus on what you can control. I try to keep a mental list of different photo opportunities I might come across based on what sort of activities I have planned on a specific day. There will be days where I will be too busy with school work or rainy days where I can’t step outside to find something picture-perfect. By focusing on what I can control, I can still find ways to meet my daily goal. If I have too much homework one day then I can snap a picture of my workload and hope that the next day my schedule will be less hectic. If it’s raining outside then I can come up with an arts and crafts project that I can take a picture of instead. There are many ways you can achieve your goals if you take the time to think outside of the box.

Set aside time in your schedule to meet your goal. Working a particular time into your schedule is helpful in making your New Year’s resolution a part of your routine. This is also a good way to help ensure that you don’t forget your goal. I recommend setting an alarm on your phone. I’ve set an alarm every night in the event that I’ve forgotten to take a picture during the day. This way, I still have time to make my daily goal.

Keeping track of your progress is a good way to keep yourself motivated and to make sure you are still committing to the resolution you’ve made. By maintaining a steady streak, you become less willing to let that streak break. One way I’m keeping track of my own progress is through social media. By uploading my pictures to my Instagram account, I am more motivated to make each picture represent something new and different each day. In this way, I feel less likely to cheat myself by taking random photos of my bedroom wall. By the end of the year, I don’t want over 300 pictures that are meaningless to me. I want a gallery of photos that remind me of all the things I experienced in 2020.

However, keeping track of your progress can have negative consequences. Knowing you have a streak can lead you to base your entire motivation on keeping that streak going. This way of thinking can lead to people giving up once the streak is broken. Don’t let the end of a streak be the end of a New Year’s resolution. Come up with ways to still meet your goal. Be proud of yourself for maintaining a streak no matter how long it lasted and make plans to make up for the loss the next day. If I manage to miss a day of picture taking then I can still continue to take pictures the day after. Maybe I wouldn’t have reached my main goal, but at least I would know that I made a valiant effort.

With all these tips in mind, I wish you luck in completing your own New Year’s resolution.