New Year's Resolutions: 2017 Edition
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New Year's Resolutions: 2017 Edition

A list I actually plan on completing.

New Year's Resolutions: 2017 Edition
Gretchen Rubin

Happy New Year!

Wait, too early? Well, in that case, 2017 needs to hurry it up. We're all just about tired of 2016, which seems to be a list of endless tragedies played out in slow motion.

But at least this little bit of time between now and then lets us think about our New Year's Resolutions. If you're like me, you put more into making up your New Year's Resolutions than actually following them, and your list always ends up ridiculously long.

But not this year! (I say this every year.) This year, I'm trimming my list to make sure that each of my goals are attainable. I'd rather make real improvement on five things than make a little improvement on fifteen. Plus, with a shorter list, I have fewer excuses.

So, without further ado, my resolutions for 2017:

1) Learn to cook.

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I've been doing this, slowly, over the course of the year already. I've even written an article about this in the past. But this year I'd like to kick it into high gear.

While I have learned some rudimentary skills, my main talents include "microwave," "toast," "burn grilled cheese sandwich in pan" and "swipe debit card at Chick-Fil-A." While this is enough in a pinch, I can't get by on Chick-Fil-A and nuked meals forever, especially if those nuked meals were prepared by someone else.

This resolution actually seems fun to me (unlike some others - see #2), because I can finally start making the recipes I've been pinning on Pinterest! Yay! (That board has about 1000 pins on it.) Also, learning cooking skills is the gift that keeps on giving: You can only eat a gift of food once, but you'll know how to cook forever.

2) Get in shape

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This is very cliche. I'm pretty sure it's on the top of everyone's list.

But personally, I'm tired of being winded whenever I walk over campus. Sure, I've learned how to pretend to not be winded, but I feel like it would be better long term to get in shape via a physical activity.

Also, there are lots of activities I've wanted to try, but that require a lot more physical activity than I'm used to. For example, I've always loved those Color Runs, where you run a 5K or whatever amount of K's while volunteers through colored powder on you. (There are other variations on this, like the Blacklight Run or the Bubble Run.) I've also wanted to try dance classes for a long time. In addition, I've always found aerial arts (like silks, the lyra, and trapeze) to be really fascinating. I don't know if I'll have enough money to try all those at first, but I'd like to try at least one in the upcoming year.

3) Write more.

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This is in regards to my Odyssey articles. Those who are reading this just see when the articles come out, read them, and laugh (or not), but from behind the scenes, it's not so simple. I'm always running out of ideas-that, or turning them in late.

Creative non-fiction, I've learned, is a lot harder for me than creative fiction. In creative fiction, you can just make stuff up completely, but in creative non-fiction, you have to think of things that make sense. In addition, the articles have to be stuff that I think would appeal to my readers, which are, judging from who likes my Facebook posts, people in late high school years and early college years. So just selecting a topic that I think people will read slows me down, which, in turn, leads me to turn in an article late.

What my Plan A is to write a bunch of articles ahead of time, and keep adding to that collection as inspiration strikes and the years go on. Of course, if that doesn't work out, my Plan B is to always get started on my article a few days early, so I don't end up in a last-minute idea slump.

4) Write better/more efficiently.

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This is in regards to novel writing, which always seems to take a cycle:

-Come up with a crazy elaborate idea

-Write on it a few days, full steam ahead.

-Slow down after writing a lot of the exciting parts.

-Start saving writing until late at night, when I'm so tired that I just blow it off.

-Find another project to work and and do that instead.

-Come back to the first project with a brand new idea.


I'm hoping to break completely out of that cycle now. Otherwise, I won't even get a first draft down before I'm 28. And it's going to take an additional year and a half to edit and such.

I always have a variation of this resolution on my list, and every year I can never cross it off. It's pretty aggravating. But this year, I'm hoping that I'll finally be able to do so. There's no special technique to being able to do this except forcing yourself to write. I'll definitely have to find a writing schedule that works for me.

And the last one...

5) Start homework early and often.

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Surprisingly, I did better at this during past semester than I did in high school. That said, the fact that I started some stuff early doesn't erase the fact that I saved other stuff for the last minute.

I know how nice it feels to get stuff done way before the due date, and I know how awful it feels to have to stay up late finishing an assignment that I could have finished a long time ago. Yet, that's not quite motivation enough; otherwise, I would have changed up my habits a long time ago. What I need to do is, like my writing schedule, find a studying schedule that works for me.

In a sort of related note, I also hope to keep my backpack organized all year. I always do in the beginning, when everything is new, but somewhere between the second and third month of the semester I just start shoving stuff in there and not taking stuff out unless absolutely necessary. This combination leads to more hazards than a road being repaired-pencils facing upwards, crumbs of sugar at the bottom of my bag, a pair of scissors in between books. It's a miracle I haven't gotten seriously injured yet.

So there you have it-my 5 (well, 5 and a half) New Year's Resolutions. What are yours? What will you do to improve yourself this year?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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