Ahhh, New Year’s Resolutions. Why do people make them? Does anybody actually succeed in maintaining their intentions throughout the rest of the year? Studies in past years have shown that while 45% of polled Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions, only 8% actually achieve their goals. What’s up with that?

New Year’s Resolutions are most often a pledge, or set of pledges, to embrace new habits and improve the self. The New Year symbolizes a fresh start, which is why many people choose that time of year for setting new goals. However, you don’t have to wait until the beginning of a new year to vow to improve yourself. You can set goals for yourself all year long – consider them your “New You” Resolutions!

Popular resolutions include losing weight, quitting smoking, spending more time with family, or learning new skills. While these concepts sound like great ideas in vague terms, it is crucial to outline your path to success by defining a set of quantifiable goals to achieve along the way. For example, if you want to lose weight, you’re more likely to succeed if you vow to lose one pound per week than it is to lose four pounds per month.

Here are a few suggestions for improving your social media presence in 2014.

1. Put safety first! Ultimately, you are solely responsible for anything you post online. Be mindful of the details you are broadcasting via social media. Public posts are PUBLIC! Even if your posts are friends-only, do you really trust all 500 of your Facebook friends with all the details of your life? One common piece of advice is to wait until after you’ve gone on vacations to brag about them so that nobody decides to burglarize your house while you’re away. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog article about what you can do to stay in control of your Facebook privacy.

2. Clean up your friends list. Letting someone be your Facebook friend is ultimately your choice (and a privilege!). For the most part, you don’t have to put up with anyone that stresses you out, especially if you don’t interact with them in real life. This could mean deleting that faraway friend from elementary school whose constant political rants are not in line with your own beliefs, or the ex-coworker who won’t stop spamming you with game invitations, or even that annoying cousin with daily updates about how the world is against them every step of the way. Unfriending people can be the source of social tension, so embrace diplomacy, but don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and politely tell them to deal with it. 

3. Stop and think before posting. You can save yourself a lot of drama or trouble by asking yourself a few questions before you hit “Post”. Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it funny? Are you hurting anybody’s feelings? Are you constantly bragging or complaining too much? If you wouldn’t say it out loud to someone in public, perhaps you shouldn’t post it anywhere.