5 Unconventional New Year's Resolutions You Should Try In 2018

5 Unconventional New Year's Resolutions You Should Try In 2018

Note to reader: Going to the gym and eating healthier are not included.

Every New Year we seem to convince ourselves that it will be the year, this will be the year that we finally live by those changes we’ve been trying to get ourselves to adopt.

We say, “it’s okay, I’ll start in January” and we build up this enormous expectation that we will indeed start in January. Which, the majority of us probably do, but then that permanent change we were seeking turns into a burden, and then a hobby, and then into another “it’s okay, I’ll start in January.”

In reality, a year is a very long time to hold yourself to do this thing that you so strongly believe will change your new year in some way. I’ve done it with the cliché “go to the gym at least 3 times a week,” or “cut out x, y, and z out of your meal plan.”

Do they work? Nope, I usually quit by March. And I don’t think it’s a question of work ethic or perseverance, but maybe more of just the reality that life hits us at all times of the year. So, today I’ve thought of five unconventional and realistic New Year resolutions that will hopefully help you grow as a person, and stick with you enough that they’ll become permanent routines of your life instead of another “I’ll start in January.”

1. Own your decisions, and be proud of them.

It’s time to start making certain decisions because you want to. Not because of other people who tell you that doing something this way will be best, or that doing something that way will make the most people happy. What about your happiness?

Yes, seeing other people pleased with your actions does feel good. But, you know what also feels good? Having complete and unequivocal control over what will happen next. The hard part is being proud of what you’ve done afterward. It’s not easy seeing people react in a manner you were hoping to avoid, and it will make you question the next time you have that option of choosing between what you want to do and what others think you should do.

It’s something that you’ll have to learn to deal with and accept, and to own and grow from. And if you have friends that keep badgering you because they think you made a decision that was wrong, or mean, or dramatic, or “stupid”, then go ahead and get you some friends that will love you for you and support you and your decisions.

Although, it is important to keep in mind that making your own decisions also comes with the responsibility of owning whatever the resulting consequences may be.

But I’m telling you, as someone who recently learned and accepted that I truly can make my own decisions and be happy with them, there’s nothing that makes you feel more confident going into each day than knowing that you’ll have more control over it than you think.

Why did I say no to doing someone a favor who in reality has never treated me like a decent human being? Because I motherf***ing can.

2. Get rid of the people in your life that make you question who you are every day. Drop 'em. Do it right now.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you should cut every person out of your life that has done you wrong. But, if there is a persistent person in your life that seems to be dragging around this toxic dark cloud over your head and their presence in your life seems to have more cons than pros, then I think it’s time to exert your energy towards other people that actually care about your wellbeing.

I told myself I was going start doing this a year ago and I have done it. But it is sad, and it does sting when you realize that a relationship you had with someone was, in reality, one that was more of a one-way street that was filled with responding to needs and wants and getting no reciprocation in return. It is not a good feeling. It actually overwhelmingly blows.

But, now I can give my energy and attention to the people who actually make me feel good about myself, to the people who actually deserve it, and to the people that I know for a fact will still be in my life after college.

3. Give yourself more credit.

You are more capable than you believe. As the year goes on and the days and the weeks seem to get longer, it gets easier to blame our inability to accomplish something on the fact that we’re tired, or that we don’t think we can do it, or that we’ve already had a long year (it’s March).

But, know and understand that you have more in you than you think. You are that smart. You are that athletic. You are that good of a person. You are that beautiful. So, here’s to a year of owning all of who you are and believing in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will?

4. Start doing the things you've always been too scared to do.

What do you have to lose? Seriously what is the worst that is going to happen? Someone will say no. Someone will laugh. Someone will disagree with what you said or did. Well, I hope I’m not the first person to tell you this, but people saying no, people laughing, people disagreeing with what you do, are things that will happen to you for the rest of your life simply because it is impossible to please everyone.

So you might as well please yourself. In reality, you’re only scared because of the possibility of the unknown. You’re only scared because you don’t know what kind of response you’ll get or what will happen next. But if you don’t do the things you’re too scared to do, then how will you ever know what could have happened? Not knowing what response you’ll get and not knowing what could have happened will have the same consequences.

So, send the stupid text. Ask your professor for help with your grade. Go apply to that job. Yes the worst that can happen may in fact happen, but life will go on. The next minute will pass, the next hour will fade away, and the next day will be a new day.

5. Be kind to everyone.

My life motto. Be kind to everyone. Even to the people that have treated you like the dirt beneath their feet. To the people that you thought of when you were reading New Year Resolution #2. To the people that seem to be out to get you. To the people that you cross on the street that you’ve never seen before. To the people that you’ve never spoken to, but hear strange things about.

One of my idols Roger Federer once said, “It is nice to be important, but it is important to be nice.” I don’t care how important you feel, how much better you feel than the person standing next to you, how much more deserving you feel than everyone else, how much higher you walk with your head, be kind to everyone. You never know what kind of day someone is having.

You never know the type of life someone has been through. I don’t care if you think you know. You simply don’t. So, be kind to everyone, because you never know whose day or life you’ll change just because you decided to share a smile, say “hello”, or ask “how have you been.”

Five unconventional New Year resolutions. They may seem easy or they may seem like you already do them, but after reading this rather lengthy article (sorry, I didn’t realize how passionate I was about new year resolutions), go through your day and apply one or a couple of these resolutions. I promise you will feel outstandingly better on this day than on any other day you had to remind yourself to go to the gym or to cut x, y, and z out of your meal plan.

Welcome 2018 and Happy New Year everyone.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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What It's Like To Stay In Pittsburgh Over The Summer

What's there to do when our teachers are hibernating for three months?

It’s weird for me to think that some people don’t stay in Pittsburgh over the summer, if only because I haven’t gone home for any summer since I’ve been in college and I have no inclination to do so. There are plenty of reasons to stay: classes, research opportunities, jobs and internships, and some people find that they just don’t want to go home and find a reason to stay. Of course, even with all those incentives there are still some of you who will want to go home, wherever that may be, so hopefully I can clue you in on what it’s like over those three months.

To begin, Pittsburgh is absolutely gorgeous in the summer. You get a taste of it in the fall, and a whiff in spring, but wow, with the flowers and the trees in bloom, places like Frick park, The Point, The Waterfront, and Mount Washington are completely transformed in the haze of green and other colors. The second thing I always notice, around the third week in, is how quiet Oakland becomes. Walking around campus, you’re lucky to run into 8 strangers over the course of your day, although there are always a handful of stragglers in Hillman or Cathy. It feels nice, in an odd way; the campus feels much more personal, much more accommodating to you. And then, with the lack of people and stress from school, you start to branch out from Oakland and see more of the city, which is where the real fun begins.

We all know we go to the University of Pittsburgh, but honestly it’d be more accurate to say we go to school in Oakland. Campus can feel pretty big during the school year, but Pittsburgh is a city of dozens of neighborhoods outside of the four or five that make up Pitt’s domain, and most of us stay orbiting around specific buildings that are hubs for our majors. I didn’t really start understanding the dynamic of larger Pittsburgh until summer after my freshman year when I started to see comedy shows on a regular basis downtown, and it completely opened my eyes to the opportunities we miss every day during the school year.

I’m not trying to judge anyone: you’re lucky to see me outside of Hillman, Cathy, or my apartment during the school year. But still, when I think about all the festivals, museum openings, theatre performances, comedy shows, art galleries, and independent classes that are offered around Pittsburgh, just to name a few of the options available in a city like Pittsburgh with vast public services and interesting people, I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out. If you ever get a chance, I’d say stay here over a summer, even if only for a couple weeks. And even if that’s not in the cards, maybe check out some of the local stuff happening outside of Oakland; Pittsburgh can surprise you.

Cover Image Credit: Robpinion on Wikimedia Commons

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It's Time For Spring Cleaning, And I Plan To Clean Out My Closet And What's Cluttering My Mind

I want to spring clean my mind and my heart.

Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and spring has sprung! Lubbock can’t seem to fully get behind the change in the weather, but I’ve decided to embrace the shift anyway. Despite temperature drops below freezing, I’m moving my outlook to warmer days. With a new season and a new perspective, it seems a good time to spring clean my life.

That’s right, my life. I’m embarking on an effort to spring clean everything. My pantry can use a serious clean out and I desperately need to sort through clothes, but I’d like to take the metamorphosis one step further this year. What else in my life is dragging and bogging me down?

The obvious physical stuff needs to go. In a world where the latest trend promises and swears to make you thinner, prettier, happier, healthier, it’s hard to stay focused on a minimalist lifestyle. That’s the new goal—living as minimally as I can. Am I going to downsize to only five items of clothing I can strategically mix and match? No. But I would like to actually know every single item that’s in my closet (something I admittedly 100% could not do right now).

And don’t even get me started on the beauty products...

I’m going to purge the physical items cluttering my life and my home and seek to live only for those things that make me happy.

I plan to do this emotionally too.

I want to spring clean my mind and my heart. Perhaps I’m taking the analogy too far, but how great would it feel? We focus on transformations in this season and all things new. I want to cut out commitments and relationships that do not bring me joy and do not make me a happier or better person.

I want to create more physical space and emotional time and effort to give back to those things in my life that are good for me. How much more energy would I have if the clutter in my apartment and the clutter in my mind weren’t draining me every step of the day?

I’m hoping I’m not alone in this, but I don’t think I am. How much better would we feel if we were living for and with only the few incredibly important things that mean the world, rather than struggling along burdened by the latest and trendiest fashion, product, or commitment? I’m convinced, it’s time for some spring cleaning.

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