Annicalxobia. Don’t let this word frighten you too much, but please know that at least one loved one leads a semi-crippled life due to the toxic/generally inconvenient infliction of this phobia. Hold the phone. Literally. I don’t want you calling your mom and confusing her with the vague concern you might be feeling right now.

If you happen to be keen on the Latin language (that makes one of us), anni means “new year” and calx means “goal”. Put it all together with a tail end of “obia”, and we have a whole new word for conceptualizing the fear people have over the creation and maintaining of New Year's Resolutions.

Please note, you will not, probably ever, find this word in any dictionary.

Mostly this fear comes from mankind’s widespread inability to keep our resolutions for a month, let alone a year. In fact, according to the Toronto Star’s statistics on New Year's Resolutions in 2013, 52 per cent of us forget about our vow to run 10 km every morning, or have eight servings of veggies a day or even snag a spot on Forbe’s Top 30 Under 30. A paltry 19 per cent of us succeed in keeping it for a whole year (standing ovation if you’re in this category).

But why can’t we keep these resolutions? To start, resolutions hold the promise of an entirely new “you.” You may imagine yourself having completely transformed your life for the better, all because you now stand on a foundation of a myriad of hugely ambitious goals.

Let’s say you really want to successfully whip up a multi-layered rainbow birthday cake for the fam, but you can’t simply paste a picture of that damn fine cake to the fridge and hope everything goes as smoothly as you imagined in your dream where you took on the culinary prowess of Julia Childs. No, no, no. Underneath that picture, there’s a recipe.

And that’s what we need to remember when tackling any goal - there’s a series of steps that need to be followed, to achieve the simplest and loftiest of New Year’s Resolutions.

Let’s consider two resolutions. My resolution could be to start flossing every night, which is really made up of one step (1. Floss), or to become a runner, which is made up of many, many steps (see what I did there?). Even with something as seemingly simple as flossing, the power of habit should never be underestimated. After all, there’s a distinct set of habitual behaviors that we don’t even think about, including that thing we do after brushing our teeth that generally includes collapsing onto our bed without once considering the dental implications of never flossing.

The only way to get around this is to incorporate your resolution into a set of behaviors that become as habitual as crashing into your cozy bed. Flossing is inevitably easier to maintain, however, because this goal is in itself an action.

All of our wonderfully wholesome goals require that recipe of success. If you want to be a runner, start by scouring your schedule for consistent openings that you can dedicate to running. Try on your sneakers, run around in circles in your bedroom, and see how those babies feel. If they’re killin’ ya, consider buying a new or used pair of shoes. Already, running has required a substantial amount of effort in comparison to flossing, but no less possible in attaining! Besides, the more complicated a recipe, the yummier it can be (re: rainbow layer cake).

On another note, anyone attempting to overcome annicalxobia must understand the imminent setbacks they’ll face on the way to achieving their goal. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that rainbow layer cake wasn’t ready in an hour. There will be times you want to give up or maybe shed a single tear, but remember that you prepared for these setbacks. You knew they were coming and you prepared for them.

Make your goal visible on your bedroom walls or privately in a journal. Share it with your whole facebook feed or just your mom. Because if you chose a resolution that really means something to you, the most difficult part should be throwing it away.

Here’s to a 2014 where Mac students reach their New Year's resolutions.

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