January 1st is always the day big things are supposed to begin. It’s the day that the list of things within the notes of your phone is slated to start.
But if you’re a novice like me, going out on New Year’s Eve means recovering until about the third of January because your inexperience gets the best of you.
“No worries, I can just start in a few days,” I told myself. This year is, in all seriousness, going to be my year.
January 10th became the new first, fresh start of the year. I wrote it in my planner and set a reminder on my phone, but I was out of town and the date came and passed so I promised myself February 1 was FOR REAL the start.
By the time February 1st came around, succeeding in school and staying on top of academics consumed every single cell within my body.
I didn’t think twice about the personal mission I had so thoughtfully composed, the list I was determined to accomplish, or the hours I spent in the months leading up to the new year figuring out what I needed to do to be the best version of myself.
It wasn’t until I was scrolling down the list of 542 notes in my phone, hoping to find the date of a doctor’s appointment I knew I wrote down around Thanksgiving, that I scrolled past the list I so enthusiastically titled, “LET’S DO THIS, 2018.”
So somehow the first 10 weeks of the new year have managed to slip by, the semester is halfway over, and not one thing on my “new year new me list” has truly been crossed off.
Obviously, I wrote my list of resolutions for myself never thinking anyone would ever read it, but in essence of holding myself accountable, here is my unedited, copied straight from the notes in my phone, New Year's Resolutions for 2018.
LET’S DO THIS, 2018:
- Have the school/academic calendar already in planner before the semester starts. Put all dates from syllabus in planner the day you get them and add all known reoccurring things to planner.
- Set out clothes, materials, supplies each night for the next day. PACK BACKPACK for the next school day before going to sleep.
- HANG UP and PUT AWAY CLOTHES when they come out of the dryer. Seriously.
- Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night – or at least try harder.
- Set phone on dresser before going to sleep so you have to get up to turn it off.
- Stop putting makeup on in the car, and SERIOUSLY stop leaving your make up bag in the car…it gets disgustingly hot.
- Cook dinner at least 3 nights a week.
- Be more mindful of eating habits.
- Stop going home in between classes.
- Get a better idea of finances and spending.
- FINISH WHAT YOU START.
- Make a written to-do list for each day, that you thoughtfully organize, so you can actually accomplish the items and physically cross things off of it as you complete them.
- SPEND LESS TIME FOCUSING ON UNIMPORTANT THINGS.
- Tell the people you love the most that you love them and say it as much as you possibly can.
- Stop being short and impatient with people on the phone.
- Stop telling your family you are way too busy to do things with them, and seriously stop telling yourself you’ll be around more after this semester…make it a point to be around now.
- Get rid of the toxic people. You know who they are.
- Replace social media urges with crossword puzzles or Sudoku. Hopefully, it will just catch on.
- Stop doubting yourself and stop letting what other people say get to you.
- Start a real savings and look into life insurance.
- Consolidate debt.
- Treat yourself and give yourself a break…everyone knows you’re way too hard on yourself.
- Learn something new.
- Try something new, especially something that scares you.
- FIGURE OUT A DAILY ROUTINE, and structure it well enough to stick with it.
Here’s what I’m going to do to ensure that I slowly work my way through the list, starting on the first of April, with some advice from the American Psychological Association on how to make your New Year’s resolutions stick.
I’m going to refine the “LET’S DO THIS, 2018” list to be as specific and as realistic as possible. For me, the broader the bullet point, the less likely I’m going to do it.
I’m going to spend a few minutes each day, between now and April 1, going over each resolution to make it as precise as it can be so when April 1 comes around, I’ll be ready.
The American Psychological Association recommends starting small and making resolutions you can keep. Sounds easy enough.
Just as it takes time to develop unhealthy behaviors, it takes time to replace them with healthier ones.
Whether it be sharing experiences with family and friends, joining a group to reach your goals, or just having someone to hold you accountable, having someone or a group of people there along the journey will only make the process easier.
Don't beat yourself up... I think this might be the hardest one for me – not beating yourself up if you don’t follow through on that one thing or those few things you promised yourself you would change. Perfection isn’t attainable, and you’re supposed to WORK towards your goals, not just miraculously start achieving them. I’m sure it will make the resolution a lot more rewarding, too.
Feeling overwhelmed or that you aren’t able to meet the goals you set for yourself is normal, but be prepared to ask for help and be willing to accept it from those closest to you because it can help manage the stress of resolutions.