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Happy New Year, FlipSide readers! As the new year begins, many people have made their New Year’s resolutions that they hope to achieve throughout the upcoming year, but most people do not actually pursue them long term. Luckily, though, I have a few tips and tricks to help you achieve them.

Start small

If you immediately begin working toward the largest goal that you have set, it may seem impossible. Being unable to reach a huge goal right away may be discouraging. If you start with the smallest goal, however, you can work your way up to the larger ones, and suddenly, they are not nearly as frightening as they once were. Start small, and everything will work out with time.

Make realistic goals

Nobody can achieve something that seems as if it could be straight from a Superman comic, so do not expect yourself to either. When setting your resolutions, choose realistic goals — something that you know can be achieved. For example, it would be unrealistic to set a “fly to the moon on a helicopter” goal, but something like “get better grades” would be totally reasonable.

Be patient

Nothing happens overnight. You cannot possibly expect to wake up one morning with brand new abilities, so have patience. Remember, good things take time. I know that it may feel as if it’s never gonna happen, or you’ll never be able to achieve something, but keep working, and have patience. The waiting may feel unbearable, but trust me — you can do this. Patience will pay off.

Be motived with a positive mindset

Motivation is the key to success. I cannot stress this enough — your mindset changes EVERYTHING. If you have a negative mindset, your productivity will greatly suffer. Here are a few things to remember in order to maintain a positive mindset: Nothing is impossible with hard work. If you truly want it, you will be willing to do whatever it takes. Believe in yourself, and anything will become possible.

Communicate your resolutions

By explaining your resolutions, and how badly you wish to achieve them to someone that you trust, you can be held accountable. Whoever you tell can then check in with you to assess how well your goals are coming along, which will boost both motivation and communication skills. For example, suppose that your resolution is to get better grades, so you tell your best friend about it. Now that they are aware of your goals, your friend can remind you periodically to work harder than usual at school. Communication is the key to a successful life.

Listen to music

A good selection of music is extremely important. Music can influence your mood, mindset, productivity and overall outlook on life. There are plenty of free music streaming apps and websites, and trust me — it’s worth the download. Maddison Lowery, who is also a FlipSide writer, wrote an article for this issue about different genres of music, so check her article out.

I hope that these tips were helpful to you in some way. As this new year begins, remember that you can do anything that you set your mind to. Good luck in all of your endeavors, and I hope that this new year brings new adventures, new opportunities and new experiences for you.